The healing ride finished its second leg of a four-leg ride this Sunday at the Frog Lake Memorial site. In its second year, the ride traveled from University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills to Frog Lake via the Iron Horse Trail. Organizer Ken Dion says that stopping in Frog Lake was in honour of Indigenous ancestors.
“The memorial site is of course were the resistance was back in 1885,” Dion spoke of the Frog Lake Massacre, where nine Indigenous people were starved to death during the signing of Treaty Six.
“We had horse riders and the wagon, with people in the back of the wagon and walkers also that came in, it was a great feeling seeing everyone finish and accomplish what they came here to accomplish,” stated Dion.
“Most of this is about unity and peace, and just having it as it was when people shared the land and everything.”
The ride aims to continue the truth and reconciliation works between Indigenous people and European Canadians, by both parties partaking in the ride. It was important to organizers to symbolize historic lands that their ancestors traveled.
In its first year, the ride went from Kehewin Cree Nation, following Highway 40 to Highway 29, through St. Paul to University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills, formerly a residential school.
This year, following the Iron Horse Trail the healing riders faced some challenges, before reaching the Frog Lake Memorial site.
“The weather was a challenge it rained a lot on us with thunder and lightning,” said Dion. “some of the trail was rough, and just putting a big event together with volunteers and the committee, and just making sure things run smoothly in the back like for meals.”
After the final prayer on Sunday discussions have already begun on next years healing ride to further truth and reconciliation for both Indigenous people and European Canadians. It will be the third of a four-year plan of healing rides all culminating to North Battleford.
Next year’s ride will start at the Frog Lake Memorial site, and end either at Loon Lake or Fort Pitt.