SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – It is more than a community event, it is a walk to honor and educate. Thousands of children’s bodies are being found on the grounds of boarding schools across Canada and the United States. Many community members from the Onondaga Nation want to educate the public about what is being discovered. Awhenjiosta Myers, a member of the Witness to Injustice Program is looking to bring her knowledge and experience to the walk this Saturday.
Myers says, this is an opportunity for the surrounding communities to learn and grow on the recent findings and how this all started in the first place. She has stories that date back decades and even a century to how Indigenous people were treated within Residential Schools. She describes story’s family members have told her and the jaw dropping atrocities that these children went through.
“This was our Holocaust, and it didn’t just last a short window of time,” says Myers.
Myers wants to spread the knowledge of her ancestors and change the minds of individuals who think people of her culture live the same way her ancestors used to. She had an interaction with a young female and Myers was dumbfounded afterwards.
She goes on to say, “This young girl says, ‘well what do you live in?’ and I said, what do you mean, and she goes, ‘well do you live in like tepees?”
It is the ignorance like this that makes Myers want to inform people about who she is and where she comes from. Myers understands the world will never be perfect and she hopes this walk is a steppingstone in the right direction to educate and inspire. Moreover, she and many of her family, friends and partners in the program want to honor the thousands of Indigenous children who are being found in unmarked graves throughout North America.
Every Child Matters: Walk for Justice for Our Ancestors is set to take place this Saturday, July 31st, 2021 and will meet at the Onondaga Nation Arena, 326 US-11, Nedrow, NY 13120. The walk is open to anyone who wants to participate and is free. The agenda is to start the walk at 10 a.m. and arrive at the Indigenous People’s Park, or as many know it by, Columbus Circle. Following the end of the walk there will be a rally with a survivor of the Residential schooling system, music, and the spreading of awareness and knowledge.
Anyone who wants to find out more information and/or be educate on a topic that many know little about can reach out to Awhenjiosta Myers, the Witness to Injustice program and/or Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation, also known as NOON.