Skip to main content

Saskatoon hosts 'Rock Your Roots' Walk for National Day of Truth and Reconciliation


Sept. 30 is Canada's National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, a day when Canadians reflect on the historical injustices faced by Indigenous peoples and work towards healing and understanding.

In Saskatoon, this important day began with a remarkable display of unity as thousands of individuals came together for the "Rock Your Roots Walk."

This event garnered widespread support from people of all backgrounds, who gathered to embrace their local cultures in solidarity with the Indigenous community. Rick Daniels, a residential school survivor and one of the event's organizers, pointed out the significance of the day.

"We're remembering children that never got to go home from the residential school system, and never got to go home to their communities. But it's also a day as residential school survivors where we get to meet each other, reconnect with old friends, and embrace our community," Daniels said, laying out what the day meant to him.

What made the "Rock Your Roots Walk" particularly unique was the encouragement for participants of all backgrounds to dress in their cultural attire, resulting in a vibrant display of diverse traditions.

The day's activities extended beyond the walk. Walkers congregated in significant numbers at Victoria Park, where they participated in speeches, shared snacks, and observed a moment of silence.

Truth and Reconciliation Day is not yet recognized as a statutory holiday in most provinces, including Saskatchewan, despite its federal status. Some attendees expressed the need for provincial recognition to ensure broader observance of the day.

"It's only recognized federally. Provincial recognition would allow people like me, working in smaller companies, to have the day off." one participant stated

Following the walk, the Reconciliation Powwow at SaskTel Centre marked the start of two days dedicated to remembrance and celebration. The Saskatoon Tribal Council expressed their satisfaction with the community's commitment to showcasing culture, language, and identity.

During this occasion, Mark Arcand, President of the Saskatoon Tribal Council, emphasized the need to halt the commercialization of Truth and Reconciliation.

"Right now, reconciliation in my mind is lacking. We see a lot of people profiting from orange shirts. That's not reconciliation. You sell an orange shirt? Where does that money go? It goes to yourself," Arcand said, laying criticism on those profiting on the event.

The Reconciliation Powwow continues into the night on Saturday and will extend into Sunday, providing a significant opportunity for individuals to come together, celebrate, and pay homage to Indigenous culture and history.

The SaskTel Centre witnessed a sea of orange and ribbons, as thousands filled the venue in Saskatoon.

The overarching message of the day was clear: people from diverse backgrounds and cultures across Canada united to support Indigenous communities in their pursuit of truth and reconciliation. Top Stories

Stay Connected