A Saskatchewan woman is hoping to set the record straight on the dark legacy of the residential school system by making the long journey from Prince Albert to Ottawa on foot.

Patricia Ballantyne began her walk earlier this month and hopes to reach the nation’s capital sometime in mid-August.

She said many non-Indigenous Canadians are simply unaware or continue to disbelieve some of the horrors that went on at residential schools.

“The younger generation I know is unaware of it but I know the older generation are just in denial of the whole situation,” Ballantyne said. “They think it was the best thing that could have happened to us but they don’t know because they haven’t lived through the experiences.”

Ballantyne is originally from Deschambault Lake but was put into foster care and then residential school at the age of four after her mother passed away.

She attended the Prince Albert Indian Residential School from 1978 to 1987.

The site of the former school is now home to both Prince Albert Grand Council and Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation offices in the city.

Ballantyne began her journey at the site of the former school which she says was a challenge in itself.

“Going up there was difficult for me. It brought back all the memories of actually seeing those dorms still up and wondering why are these buildings still up? This is not a residential school anymore; it should be torn down. It brought back all the hurt and anger that I had and the abuse I had to endure at the residence.”

She said so far response to her walk has been positive with people offering both food and refreshments along the way.

Others have joined the walk.

The total distance from Prince Albert to the nation’s capital is roughly 3,000 kilometres.

Ballantyne said she was moved to do her “Walk of Sorrow” after the recent discovery of the remains of 215 children in unmarked graves on the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.

(PHOTO: Patricia Ballantyne. Photo courtesy Patricia Ballantyne Facebook page.)