The Gabriel-Commanda Walk on March 20 gathered some 1000 people in the streets of Val-d’Or, in spite of freezing weather, to say “No” to racism, in response to the Val-d’Or Native Friendship Centre’s invitation. The 8th edition of the Walk marked the high point of the Awareness Week for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It was a well-filled week that focused on partnerships.
With this recurring campaign uniting innovative activities, Val-d’Or has become a testimonial on the national scene when talking about racial discrimination awareness. A campaign of this scope, registered in the frame of an international movement and led under the leadership of First Nations people, confirms the pioneering character of Val-d’Or and its uniqueness in Quebec, if not Canada. With its 32,000 inhabitants, Val-d’Or is one of the rare towns of its size to successfully lead such a campaign, usually reserved for large urban centres.
The Val-d’Or Native Friendship Centre is however very proud of the population’s response to this big annual solidarity rendezvous that is the Gabriel-Commanda Walk, and of all the collaborations that made this event a great success. This year, several regional partnerships were furthered and the Awareness Week is on the verge of becoming a real action week, actions undertaken by an ensemble of groups that say strong and loud “no to racism in Val-d’Or” and that continue the work in their respective fields: municipal politics, community, schools, childcare services, regional politics, business world and Aboriginal organizations.