Two Coquitlam residents are providing opportunities to support Indigenous reconciliation with hard work, sweat, education, dialogue and cash donations.
Organizers of HEAL Together - Helping End Aboriginal Loss are raising funds in support of the Indian Residential School Survivors Society and pledging a summer of movement and conversation about the residential school system and its impact on Indigenous people.
The idea — according to organizers Coquitlam Coun. Teri Towner and Dave McCloskey — is to get people together to increase awareness and dialogue “pertaining to this dark part of our Canadian story and the devastating effects generational trauma” and to raise funds to support those who have been affected.
Participants would commit to daily action, such as completing the Coquitlam Crunch stairs loop 215 times, as Towner and McCloskey have pledged to do.
“We invite everyone to get out and move in some manner — move 2.15 km, 21.5 km, 215 km or any variation. Take the time to reflect on what has happened, seek to have conversations and understand how we can help move forward,” they explain.
Participants are encouraged to take a photo and share it on the Facebook page with the tags #healtogether and/or #215movement.
The group has also pledged to raise $21,500 for the Indian Residential School Survivors Society through a charitable donation portal called canadahelps.org.
The effort began on National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21) and will run to Orange Shirt Day (Sept. 30), a day of awareness for Every Child Matters and the residential school system.
Organizers hope to have educational information provided by the Indigenous community and “create a positive, safe space for all to come together and share, learn and help HEAL Together,” the group states.
Find out more information here.