ST. PAUL – Traffic was slowed along a stretch of main street in St. Paul on Friday afternoon, as a large group of people marched to end racism and voice their support for the Black Lives Matter movement currently being seen south of the border and around the world.
Drummers and singers lead the march, with an impromptu round dance taking place as the walk arrived at the St. Paul RCMP detachment. While many people kept their distance and wore masks, those who felt comfortable doing so took park in the dance. At one point, Sgt. David Graham of the St. Paul RCMP joined, and was applauded for doing so.
Loretta Cardinal was among those who organized the Indigenous/Black Lives Matter walk. Speaking to the crowd gathered in front of the detachment, Cardinal said people simply need to top hating each other.
"I am thinking about our future generations . . . it doesn't need to be like this," said Cardinal, as she encouraged people to change their attitudes.
Saddle Lake Cree Nation Chief Eric Shirt, along with council members Pamela Quinn, Leonard Jackson and Darcy McGilvery also addressed the crowd.
The chief spoke about addressing relations between Indigenous people and police officers, in a bid to ensure children can feel a sense of safety.
Quinn affirmed that all people - regardless of their skin colour - are meant to be here.
"We're meant to be here. To live with each other. . . . I love you all," said Quinn.
McGilvery spoke about the spirit of the treaties, and stated simply - "We matter."
Jackson spoke about his own identity crisis as a young person. He described how he was raised away from his community, and when he returned as a young adult, he didn't know how to act. So, he reached out to the Creator for guidance.
"It's time we stop," said Jackson, adding, "No one is better than anybody, and for that I'm thankful."
Read more from LakelandToday.ca