#1 – NDHR Sunrise Ceremony

May 26/09 5:30am

At the site of the old Pelican Falls residential school in Sioux Lookout, people gathered to begin the day with the sunrise ceremony and prayer. The pipe ceremony led by Charles Willams and Mervin of Lac Seul, prayers were said to support and encourage healing and reconciliation. Prayers were said for the spirits that linger at the old residential school site and for the former students and staff as well. Participants in attendance shared their thoughts, encouragement and commitment to ongoing healing and reconciliation between First Nations and non-First Nations. The apologies made by the United Church in 1986 and 1998 were read and words of support were shared by those that experienced the impact of Residential Schools as students of the school and staff. The ceremony offered songs and smudging that blessed day as well as the planned activites to celebrate NDHR. The thanks given to the Creator and the spiritual blessing of the day strengthened the NDHR initiative and the efforts made by all to walk together in the spirit of reconciliation.

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