Location: Piikani Travel Center, Hwy 3, Piikani Nation
Piikani Nation - September 29th, Piikani Child and Family Services hosted a Truth and Reconciliation/Every Child Matters event at the Piikani Travel Center. From 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, community members gathered for a powerful series of presentations that underscored the importance of these vital initiatives.
The event featured presentations from members of Child and Family Services, including Director Kelly Provost, who passionately spoke about "Every Child Matters" and the imperative of Truth and Reconciliation. Their words resonated deeply, setting the tone for a day of reflection and commemoration.
In the spirit of unity and tradition, honored Elders, including Elders Peter Strikes With A Gun and Herman Many Guns, graced the event with their wisdom. Their presence and insights offered a bridge between the past and the present, reminding all of the significance of preserving Indigenous heritage and culture.
Piikani Chief Troy Knowlton also stood among the event's speakers, sharing his thoughts on these critical matters. His words echoed a sentiment shared by many: the importance of acknowledging the past to build a better future.
One of the event's most notable moments was the unveiling of a brand new billboard sign, strategically located near the Piikani Travel Center on Hwy 3. This striking symbol serves as a lasting reminder of the community's commitment to Truth and Reconciliation and their dedication to the welfare of every child.
Following the presentations and the unveiling, the event continued with an act of community generosity. Attendees were treated to a bagged lunch, showcasing the spirit of sharing and togetherness. Additionally, free merchandise such as hat’s, orange shirts and pins were distributed, offering attendees reminders of the event's profound message.
In a heartfelt statement, Chief Troy Knowlton encouraged all attendees to seek the stories of their elders, saying, "I press upon all of you to seek those stories with the elders we have, remember what your grandmothers, grandfathers taught you...never forget this." His words encapsulated the event's core message: the importance of preserving cultural heritage, recognizing past injustices, and fostering a brighter future for every child.
Piikani Child and Family Services, along with the community, continue to embrace the path of Truth and Reconciliation. This event served as both a reflection on the past and a statement of commitment to a more inclusive and compassionate future.
Article and photos by Warren Wolf Tail