FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(July 5, 2021, Fort McMurray, AB) – The Athabasca Tribal Council (ATC) supports the community members of Chipewyan Prairie Déne First Nation (CPDFN) and Chief Vern Janvier as they participate in a Memorial Walk from the Janvier Heath Centre to Snye Point Park in Fort McMurray. The walk is to honour the Residential School Survivors and the thousands of children who didn’t make it home. Dozens of community members, including youth and children, have been accompanying Chief Janvier on this walk. The community has been supporting walkers with water and food since its start on July 1.
Memorial Walk in Solidarity
Expected locations of the walk:
Monday, July 5: Starting at 8:00 a.m. in Anzac, walking along Highway 881 to Highway 63.
Tuesday, July 6: Starting at 8:00 a.m. at Highway 881, walking along Highway 63 to Highway 69 (YMM Airport turn-off)
Wednesday, July 7: Starting at 8:00 a.m. at Highway 69, walking along Highway 63. Then taking Prairie Loop Boulevard to Snye Point Park. Expected arrival between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
ATC encourages anyone from the public who would like to show support for our First Nations and Métis communities to join the walk as they make their way to Fort McMurray. Also, community members who want to participate but cannot walk long distances are encouraged to follow in a vehicle Wednesday as the group makes its way to Snye Point Park.
Memorial Gathering in Solidarity
A Memorial Gathering in Solidarity will occur at Snye Point Park at approximately 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 7, 2021.
Community Members who have felt the impacts of the Residential School system are invited to come and share their experiences with those in attendance.
Members of the public who wish to listen and learn about the Residential School experience of our community are welcome to attend and continue their own personal reconciliation path during this event.
Participants and attendees are asked to maintain physical distancing or wear a mask to protect themselves, our Elders and communities from the COVID-19 virus.
“We hope to see you. We hope that the public will come out and support this walk and our collective healing,” said Chief Adam, President of the Athabasca Tribal Council. “When the people march with us, that will give us the strength we need to carry on and to fight for a better life for our younger people, for the next generations.”
ATC Community Members who are in need of emotional support are encouraged to call the Athabasca Tribal Council’s IRS Support Worker, Lyn Chartrand, at 780-799-2461, Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to all Indigenous people.
ABOUT ATHABASCA TRIBAL COUNCIL
Athabasca Tribal Council is an organization that serves our First Nations by providing relevant and innovative programs and services that enrich the well-being, health and prosperity of its people. ATC is committed to ensuring the protection of inherent rights, Treaty Rights, and their Traditional Territories while respecting the autonomy of each Nation. For information, visit atcfn.ca.
For more information:
Chief Allan Adam
President, Athabasca Tribal Council
Chief, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation