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The Residential School Memorial in Regina: Honouring the Past, Embracing the Future

The memorial aligns with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Call to Action #82.

On June 21, 2022, on National Indigenous Peoples Day, the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan and the Government of Saskatchewan dedicated the Saskatchewan Residential School Memorial on the grounds of Government House in Regina.

The Residential School Memorial honours the survivors of Canada's residential school system and all others who have been impacted by the experiences at residential schools, including the children who did not return home.

"This memorial is a symbol of remembrance and resilience and represents our commitment to acknowledging the painful history of residential schools and working together for a brighter future," said Lieutenant Governor, Russ Mirasty. "It stands as a testament to the power of survivors and the enduring strength of Indigenous communities."

Jeremy Fourhorns, Donna & Russ Mirasty, Chief Daywalker-Pelletier & Chief Starr on June 21, 2022.
Jeremy Fourhorns, Donna & Russ Mirasty, Chief Daywalker-Pelletier and Chief Starr at the Memorial Dedication event on June 21, 2022.

"Reconciliation and healing have no end date and do not conclude with a single action," Minister Responsible for First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs Don McMorris said. “We continue to travel the path to meaningful reconciliation in Saskatchewan. Placing the memorial at Government House allows survivors, their families, and all people a place to reflect and consider the shared road before us.”

The memorial aligns with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Call to Action #82, which calls for the installation of publicly accessible and visible residential school memorials in each capital city across Canada.

Lieutenant Governor Mirasty spoke to many Indigenous communities, survivors and their families to hear their insight into the memorial. Their perspectives were central in shaping the design and purpose of the memorial.

Russ Donna Mirasty seated in rain near centre stone at Memorial Dedication on June 21, 2022.
Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty and his wife, Her Honour Donna Mirasty, seated near stone at the Memorial Dedication event on June 21, 2022.

The Residential School Memorial references the circle of life and incorporates elements found in Saskatchewan that encourage healing. It includes traditional plants and trees, benches constructed from reclaimed wood from Wascana Centre and placed in four directions, and four pathways leading north-to-south and east-to-west. The monument site's focal point is a large central boulder, which the Lieutenant Governor and his wife, Her Honour Donna Mirasty, found near the south side of the Qu'Appelle Valley. His Honour also incorporated a smaller stone from the La Ronge area, which sits in front of the boulder and can be used for smudging. Mounted on the boulder is a plaque made of Tyndall stone showing a map of Saskatchewan with the locations of former residential schools.

The Saskatchewan Residential School Memorial was created to be a place of remembrance and unity and affirms the province’s commitment to advancing reconciliation. The memorial embodies acknowledgment, remembrance and hope for a better future.

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