There can be no shortage of praise for the incredible journey taken by the family of Billy Loutit and Athabasca community members running from Edmonton to Athabasca.
The honour run for the local Métis hero July 28-29 was an incredible display of determination, unity, overcoming adversity and heart. The people that helped make the run happen and participated deserve all the kudos in the world.
It was an incredibly important example of reconciliation and a vital recognition of local history. It is an example we should all learn from and carry the spirit of going forward.
In a span of a few short weeks, after the cancellation of the Athabaska Ultra 100, organizers were able to put on a run as inspirational and significant as any our community has ever seen.
Through this run, the history of Billy Loutit and his journey from Athabasca to Edmonton is once again recognized.
Through the triathlon in his name and the latest dramatic production about the man on the riverfront, our community has done well to honour that history. We should continue to do this, and seek to honour other stories of First Nations and Métis people at risk of being lost in the sands of time.
The run, with Athabasca community members journeying every step on the route alongside a Loutit family member, was an important reconciliatory gesture. That spirit needs to be carried on. We all need to be able to put ourselves forward to be part of reconciliation, in all aspects of our society. Even if you were not part of the event, take it as an example to follow.
Reconciliation is not easy or straightforward. It is being aware of our internalized prejudices and working through them. It is finding friendship.
Shannon Loutitt said she considered the Athabasca community apart of her family. That kind of bond should be something every community strives to have with all of its members.