With registration underway for the Walk for Reconciliation on September 22nd, we’re thrilled by how many of you have answered our call to action and pledged your commitment to reconciliation.

One of the first teams to register was St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church and what follows is a brief interview with team leader Michelle Henry.

1.Why do you believe it is important for St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church to participate in the Walk for Reconciliation?

The United Church of Canada was involved in the operation of the residential schools. Today we are seeking to better understand the legacy of colonial history, and to engage in work that leads to meaningful reconciliation. As a church it’s important to promote building a relationship between Aboriginal peoples and our community. Participating as a church leads by example that we want to promote dialogue between Aboriginal people and other Canadians

2. What does reconciliation mean to your team?

We embrace the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s definition of reconciliation as “an ongoing individual and collective process” that requires participation from all Canadians. We are just beginning this process today. We appreciate that reconciliation is a long-term goal that will take multiple generations to achieve. Our hope is that tens of thousands of people walking in solidarity with the survivors and former students of residential schools will help to raise awareness and educate the Canadian public about our shared history.

3. What are you hoping to get out of your participation in the Walk?

To meet people, create new friendships and listen to the stories that people have to share. To me, it’s not about what I hope to get out of it, but what I can contribute in return.

4. What are you most looking forward to?

To see the dream of this walk come together as Chief Bobby Joseph and so many others have dreamed of. To see the community of people, all backgrounds join and walk together for reconciliation. To witness the thousands of people that will be coming together for healing and understanding.

5. Is there a message that you would like to pass on to everyone who is still deciding about signing up for the Walk?

Sign up and be part of history in the making! Bring your family and friends; get involved in the community and in Canadian history. Share and spread the message. This walk doesn’t mark the end of reconciliation but the beginning to something extraordinary. And it will be a time of celebration that welcomes everyone.

To join St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church at the Walk on September 22nd please visit https://reconciliationcanada.ca and register your team. Registration is free, and while creating a team isn’t required, building and nurturing relationships is what the Walk is all about. So team up and join us for an inspiring day of togetherness.

We are also still looking for volunteers! Visit the volunteer page to learn more about the various volunteer opportunities and to submit your application.