Walking for Reconciliation

September 24, 2013

Last Sunday, tens of thousands of people came out in the pouring rain to the Walk for Reconciliation, an event organized by Reconciliation Canada to end the week of Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings in Vancouver.

MoveUP Human Rights Committee Chair Joyce Galuska was determined to make it out, despite having knee surgery only a few days before. A friend wheeled her through the route.

“I want the world to know what the First Nations people have had to endure and be part of this historic event. An afternoon in a wheelchair walking with survivors will re-energize my soul a thousand-fold more than sitting at home with my leg up,” Galuska said.

The BC Federation of Labour and many other B.C. unions also had a presence at the walk, with a goal of standing in solidarity with First Nations people and demonstrating labour’s commitment to working together building better relationships and resilient, sustainable communities.

The keynote speaker for the walk was Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. King called for urgent and vigorous action for First Nations people.

“Even a superficial look at history reveals that no social advance rolls in on the wheels of inevitability. Every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle,” said King. And she noted action and commitment must come on many levels, from all of us.

“This requires leadership action on all fronts in Canada, from political and government, corporate … educational and community leadership, because, as I said, we are all in this together. We are tied in an inescapable network of mutuality, caught in a single garment of destiny and what affects one person here in Canada – no matter their background – directly affects all indirectly.”