Starting at Laurier Street, participants marched in silence donning orange shirts down Edward Street toward Parc Du Moulin accompanied by Indigenous drummers. Bylaw and Ontario Provincial Police blocked off streets allowing the procession to proceed. City councillors Samuel Cardarelli and Kyle Cyr showed their support along with Clarence-Rockland Mayor Mario Zanth.
Organized by Helen Pace and the team at the Indigenous Grassroots Circle, after the walk participants gathered to listen to Mohawk elder and Rockland resident Gerry Villeneuve and Hereditary Chief Jason Arbour. Educational materials were on site, food was shared, a traditional hoop dancer performed and a sacred fire was lit in memory of victims and survivors of Canada’s residential school system.
Though observed since 2013, the Day for Truth and Reconciliation became a statutory federal holiday in 2021 after thousands of unmarked graves were uncovered near the former sites of residential schools.