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'The hard work is yet to come': Waterloo Region marks third national day for Truth and Reconciliation

A sea of orange filled the streets of Kitchener Saturday morning as the sound of drummers and singers emanated throughout the city’s downtown core.
The Healing of the Seven Generations once again hosted an Every Child Matters walk as a way to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

“We're here to tell our truth and hope that the word gets out and everybody talks about this everyday and not just today,” said Serena Wesley from The Healing of the Seven Generations.

Hundreds of people came out to show their support.

“There are many more graves to be unveiled, to be found,” Donna Dubie, executive director of The Healing of the Seven Generations, announced to the crowd.

The day acts as a way to remember and acknowledge the painful legacy of residential schools, including the deaths of thousand of children according to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation,

This year, the significance of the day resonated even more profoundly as the local community embarks on a journey towards healing.

“The word's getting out there and people want our stories to be told and we're still here and not going away,” Wesley said.

Elders continue to play a vital role in guiding the community through the healing process, teaching that addressing historical trauma not only benefits the survivors but also future generations.

"All Indigenous peoples are affected by the legacy of residential schools, we relive some of our history and so it is very emotional," said Tauni Sheldon.

Local Indigenous leaders and activists emphasized the journey towards reconciliation as long and challenging, but it’s a path that must be walked together.

"The word is getting out there, education is happening but we need more of it," Dubie said. "There's 94 calls to action and currently to date there's only been 13 calls that have been what they say are successfully completed, we're only at the beginning."

Dubie says she witnessed a powerful display of unity in Kitchener and is determined to continue spreading awareness about Canada’s history in an effort to make a change.

"The hard work is yet to come and we can't be afraid to do that hard work because it needs to happen," Top Stories

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