Last June, as news broke of the unmarked graves at former Residential Schools, local residents of North Grenville erected small white crosses at the former agricultural college on County Road 44, and held a ceremony to commemorate the children who died at the Kamloops school as well as other schools around the country.
Following the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, the organiser of the memorial, Lorraine Rekmans, returned with helpers to remove the crosses from the site. Following a smudging ceremony, Lorraine spoke briefly, noting that: “When the settlers came here, they didn’t want us. But we survived and remain willing to work with them for the good of their country, of our country”.
The hope is that memorials like this, and events such as the one that took place at the Municipal Centre last week, will continue the process of education, reconciliation, and restoration, as the truth of our shared history becomes better known and understood.