'We walked those spirits here': Lost lives of children affected by Regina Indian Industrial School honoured by spiritual trek
Cowessess First Nation honoured the lives of children that lost their lives at the Regina Indian Industrial School by walking around 21 km from the cemetery to a powwow.
A group of about nine people, including chiefs of different nations, departed in the morning, and the journey took a total of around four hours. Cowessess Chief Cadmus Delorme says the walk helped bring the spirits of the children to the powwow.
“We walked those spirits here,” said Delorme. “It's my belief that this arbor is packed with those spirits so now they can dance and sing and heal with all of us as we move forward."
Last year’s walk went around 2.8 km to the Saulteaux Junction Gas and Convenience Store. However the extra distance this year did not deter four grandmothers from taking part, including Ochapowace First Nation Chief Margaret Bear.
“Stepping it up and being a chief in that role, it's awesome,” said Glenn Pelletier, the arena director with Cowessess First Nation. “It was really awesome to see that. [It} kind of gave me butterflies when I saw that.”
The event was organized by a committee made up of members from Ochapowace, Sakimay, Kahkewistahaw and Cowessess. But Pelletier added that many other nations were involved and affected by the walk.
“It's just a whole bunch of first nations coming together to celebrate and honour those that have passed on," said Pelletier.
Chief Delorme said the walkers will be making the trek from the cemetery again next year, but the end location will be decided by Kahkewistahaw, who is hosting the powwow in 2020.