by Kinnukana, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
(ANNews) – On July 1, the 3rd annual Run for Reconciliation will take place at the Lions Park in St Albert which is located on Treaty 6 territory and the homeland of the Metis. The race is held every year on Canada Day to raise awareness about First Nations, Inuit and Metis children and families who were and continue to be impacted by Residential Schools. The event starts in the morning and runs from 9-11 am to allow participants to start their Canada Day celebrations off by honouring the many Indigenous children who never made it home from residential schools across Canada.
Amanda Patrick, the founder of the event is an avid runner and when she heard about the unmarked graves that were found in Kamloops, British Columbia in May of 2021 she decided to do something to raise more awareness about residential schools. Amanda said, “I did a video on Instagram and asked my fellow runners to run with me on Canada Day to honour these children. The event just took off, I thought I would get maybe twenty people to show up, but I had over four hundred attend the first year. It was pretty amazing!”
People wanted to also donate money, so Amanda also started a Go Fund Me account (Fundraiser by Stephanie Laidler : July 1 Run & Walk for Reconciliation: St. Albert (gofundme.com). Every year this event grows and has shown that many people want to demonstrate their support in raising awareness for this important cause.
This year, there will be two distances available, a 5-kilometre run and a new option to complete a 3-kilometre walk. The run/walk will begin at the Lions Park and will end at the St Albert Healing Garden. There will be a clearly marked path for both the runners and those that wish to walk.
As participants run or walk, they will have time to connect and reflect on the survivors, their families, and those children who never made it home. Each participant will be provided with an orange ribbon that they will carry with them, and when they complete the run/walk and reach the Healing Garden they can tie the ribbon around the posts of the gazebo as a sign of remembrance. Cards and markers will also be made available for anyone who wants to leave a personal message on their ribbons.
The event is open to anyone who wants to participate, and it is free to attend. Participants can sign up in advance and also purchase an orange T-shirt to wear on the run/walk that is designed by an Indigenous youth. Participants may also bring their dogs with them as long as they are on a leash. There is free parking located next to the Lions Park and if all the spaces are taken, there is also paid parking available across the street from the park.
As in other years, the goal is to raise a minimum of 1,996 dollars, to align with the same year (1996) that the last residential school closed. This year, the funds raised from this event will be donated to the Legacy of Hope Foundation. The foundation is a national Indigenous charitable organization with the mandate to educate and create awareness and understanding about the Residential School System, including the intergenerational impacts. The foundation also works toward addressing racism, fostering empathy and understanding and inspires action to improve the situation of Indigenous peoples today. They also support the ongoing healing process of Residential School Survivors, and their families and seeks their input on projects that honour them.
There are many survivors of Residential Schools today who are still dealing with the trauma that they endured. This event provides an opportunity for others to be active in the reconciliation process.
If you would like to participate in the event, you can sign up in advance by scanning the QR code in the poster below or at the site Home | #RUNREMREC (square.site):
To learn more about the upcoming event, follow on their Facebook Page – (5) July 1st Run For Reconciliation | Saint Albert AB | Facebook
If you need special accommodations, or have any questions or inquiries please reach out to event organizers by email at [email protected]