KAGAWONG – The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis has highlighted once again the devastating, centuries-long impact of systemic racism in the US. Canada’s colonial past means that we, too, are smothered by the same, or similar, injustices, says one of the organizers of the ‘Walk for Change’ anti-racism event taking place on Manitoulin Island this Sunday.
“People of colour—Indigenous and immigrant—must be assured the equal rights and opportunities they have been denied in the past,” said Reverend Janice Frame, in a release. “This will require a fundamental shift in the structures and systems that now frame our country. And making that shift will require the voice, support, and activism of all Canadians.”
“We on Manitoulin Island cannot let this pivotal moment in history pass us by,” said Reverend Frame. “We cannot sit still and let the peaceful protests in large urban areas speak for us. We must raise our own voice in solidarity for the changes that we know must happen if Canada is to live into its potential as a peaceful nation that encourages and embraces all its citizens.”
To that end, a peaceful ‘Walk for Change’ anti-racism event in solidarity with Black, Indigenous and people of colour, is planned Sunday, June 14 at 2 pm, beginning at the Aus Hunt Marina in Kagawong and proceeding along Main Street to the Church on the Hill. This walk will symbolize Manitouliners’ willingness to join the “uphill battle” that is necessary in the fight for social justice.
The reality of COVID-19 guidelines means that participants in the ‘Walk for Change’ are requested to wear a face mask, use noise makers rather than shouting, carry signs with positive messages, and maintain safe social distancing. Above all, this is to be a peaceful and respectful action of unity and commitment.