By William Crooks
Local Journalism Initiative
The National Week of Truth and Reconciliation, devoted to Indigenous Canadian issues of all kinds, is around the corner. The Record spoke with Bishop’s University (BU) Coordinator of Indigenous Student Support, Shawna Chatterton-Jerome, for a preview of the various local activities that will be offered.
National Week of Truth and Reconciliation activities
“We received a giant floor map,” Chatterton-Jerome began, called the Indigenous People’s Atlas of Canada. It was made by Canadian Geographic, a publication put out by The Royal Canadian Geographic Society. It is around 30 feet by 20 feet in area, she noted. Access to it will be available the whole week in a large tent located behind BU’s Dewhurst Dining Hall.
An activity will be done with the map every day except for Wednesday, she continued. On Monday (Sept. 25), the topic will be residential schools; Tuesday (Sept. 26), Indigenous governance; Thursday (Sept. 28), the movement of people; and Friday (Sept. 29), treaties, land disputes, agreements, and rights.
Thursday, Champlain Regional College (CRC) will host a symposium called “Shé:kon Kèn:’en Itewe’s”, which means “we are still here”. The intent is to have a conversation that “creates action”, she explained.
Wednesday (Sept. 27) an Atikamekw Elder, Roger Echaquan, is coming to perform a ceremony and talk about medicine as a part of a tour that includes Sherbrooke University.
Saturday (Sept. 30) there will be an “Every Child Matters Walk” starting at the Sherbrooke City Hall. Since 2017, Chatterton-Jerome said, BU has hosted an “Orange Shirt-Day Walk” on campus, inviting local schools such as Bishop’s College School, Alexander Galt, and Lennoxville Elementary School to participate. It involved speakers and a walk through Lennoxville and back. This year, in a spirit of collaboration, the walk will take place in Sherbrooke. The goal is to create “more visibility”, she said. She is hoping for many people to attend.