The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation marked a special day in Hay River and the Kátł’odeeche First Nation Reserve for much of the week last week.

All schools participated in activities to mark the day to honour residential school survivors and remember those lost and forgotten from the government mandated institutions.

One of the more novel events from the Sept. 29 festivities included a drone photo flyover of Diamond Jenness Secondary School as students dressed in orange stood outside.

Other schools in the community also held solemn events. K’atl’odeeche First Nation Elder Roy Fabian led a drum session and prayer and spoke to students at the Chief Sunrise Education Centre, Sept. 29. Ecole Boreale, Princess Alexandra and Harry Camsell schools all held activities of their own throughout the week.

Fabian, former Chief, emphasized that there is much work to be done before reconciliation can happen between Canada and Indigenous people.

“As young people, you are our future,” he told the KFN students. “Hopefully we are going to teach you to be loving, kind, respectful and caring for one another.

“Everybody is welcome in this community and all of you are from this community. Your belong here and we should never abandon you and you should never abandon one another.”

The Town of Hay River also held a flag raising ceremony on Sept. 29 at the fire hall.

The Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre hosted a special drumming ceremony and small luncheon on Sept. 30.

– Photos courtesy of Aaron Tambour Productions

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. A through and through "County boy" from Prince Edward County, Ont., Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin...

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