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It was a moment of hope. A moment of reflection. And a moment of reconciliation yesterday morning as a gathered crowd of dignitaries and spectators watched two new flags rise to fly above Swift Current’s Flag Court.

Welcomed by a small sea of ​​orange shirts in solidarity with the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation this coming Thursday, a small group of community leaders gathered from the southwest spoke in turn about the troubled and sometimes tumultuous past between the First Nations. and non-First Nations peoples.

The raising of the Treaty 4 and Métis Nation flags yesterday as permanent additions to the Flag Court is not intended to solve all of these problems. But as several speakers have alluded to, one meaningful first step can lead to another, then another until suddenly one is far from where they started.

Mary Culbertson is Treaty Commissioner in the Office of the Treaty Commissioner.

“To learn more about this shared story because it’s not a great story. But we can make our story a good story when we learn from each other. When we talk to each other. And when we are talking to each other. want a better life for everyone. “

Culbertson was accompanied to the speaker podium by Chief Alvin Francis of the Nekaneet First Nation; Wendy Gervais, Regional Director of Métis Nation Western Region 3; Mayor Al Bridal; and Everett Hindley, MPP for Swift Current and Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors, Rural and Remote Health.

Each spoke about the raising of the flag and its meaning from their own unique experience, both inside and outside the residential school experience.

Chief Alvin Francis, whose adoptive father and former Nekaneet First Nation Chief, the late Gordon Oaks, designed the Treaty 4 flag, spoke of the imperative that all parties move in the same direction.

“We have to work together. We have no choice in this matter. Because I always like to say this… you are not going anywhere, and I am not going anywhere. So let’s walk hand in hand. of this world a better world for all. Let us understand that we can really talk to each other. “

Much of the morning’s theme turned to young people from all the nations that share the country; of these generations to come and the hope of making a better world for them.

Mayor Al Bridal spoke not only as a representative of the city of Swift Current, but also gave a brief nod to his own generation as he spoke directly to the gathered youth from the Central School of the city.

“As was mentioned earlier today, it is vitally important that we include you in this Truth and Reconciliation, for it will be up to you to carry this torch into the future. And be sure to do so. Better than my generation. Because it’s been 64 years coming from my generation. “