VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Thousands are expected to gather in Downtown Vancouver today for the Walk for Reconciliation.
“All of us as Canadians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, have a role to play in this reconciliation,” says Chief Robert Joseph with Reconciliation Canada.
This year’s walk could very well be the largest reconciliation event in BC, if not Canadian history with walkers making their way from Cambie and Georgia Streets to Strathcona Park for the first-ever Reconciliation Expo. “…Which will be a whole number of projects [and] initiatives on-site there, demonstrating the practicality of reconciliation in different ways by different people. We’ve got to create a society that embraces diversity and is always seeking understanding.”
A number of politicians will be at today’s event including Premier John Horgan and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.
“Vancouver is a City of Reconciliation and the Walk for Reconciliation is the final signature event to cap off our Canada 150+ celebrations. From the Gathering of Canoes to The Drum is Calling Festival throughout July, it’s been empowering to see the city come together to celebrate the contribution of our Indigenous peoples. The walk is a historic opportunity to show support for the progress we’ve made together towards reconciliation and I can’t wait to walk with everyone in unity,” says Robertson.
About 70,000 people took part in the last Walk for Reconciliation four years ago.
“There is no relationship more important to our government than the one with Indigenous Peoples. We must take concrete steps toward a renewed relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership. I would like to thank Reconciliation Canada and the City of Vancouver for this important initiative. It is incumbent on all of us to ensure that the next 150 years are marked by respect, trust, hope and optimism,” states Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly.
The walk begins at 9:30 a.m., while the Reconciliation Expo runs from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. which will feature cultural performances, artisans, food trucks, educational activities, and a keynote speech.