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Owen Sound’s Walk for the Children

Like everything else during our pandemic, this year’s Canada Day in Owen Sound was not your typical celebration of all things red and white.  The recent discovery of unmarked graves at a number of residential schools across the country had many questioning what exactly we were celebrating.  Although Owen Sound, after making some minor adjustments to the day, went ahead with their fireworks, many felt it was neither the time nor the place.  Instead, my community, like many others across the country decided to mark the day with a “Walk For The Children

Members of the community were asked to gather on the East side of the harbour at 4 pm, where they would begin their walk around the harbour to Kelso Beach.

The group, many wearing orange shirts and ribbons, were joined by others waiting quietly at various points around the harbour.

As the walkers approached the bridge to Kelso Beach on their way to Gitche Namewikwedong Reconciliation Garden, they paused and waited for their turn to pay their respects.

One by one and group by group, the walkers were invited to pay their respects by entering the garden site from the East, where they had the opportunity to take part in a smudging ceremony, before sprinkling some tobacco onto the ceremonial fire.

Although it wasn’t your typical Canada Day, it felt like the right thing to do.  And I was very proud of my community.


John Fearnall

Good Noise

All images are property of John Fearnall/Good Noise

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