Solemn day of ceremony to mark anniversary of Kamloops unmarked graves
Solemn day of ceremony to mark anniversary of Kamloops unmarked graves
Beginning at sunrise on Monday, the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc will host a solemn day of ceremony and reflection to mark the one-year anniversary of unmarked graves being located at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
For decades, survivors who once spent time at the school told the stories of peers who suddenly vanished. Some believed the missing children had run away, but many always suspected something more sinister.
A survey last year using ground-penetrating radar showed the existence of 215 potential unmarked graves.
Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir, chief of Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc, will be joined by Governor General Mary Simon.
Cultural protocols call for Monday to mark the end of a year of mourning for the missing children, but for survivors and the families of the children who never made it home, the healing journey will continue.
“When I first shared the news, it was devastating for many of our community members,” Casimir said last week. “For many, this is about our collective history. And it’s about those meaningful steps moving forward.”
Since the announcement of the Kamloops graves being located, hundreds more potential grave sites have been found at residential schools across the country.
The federal government declared Sept. 30 a holiday known as The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
And in April, at the Vatican, Pope Francis delivered a historic apology to delegations of Indigenous, Inuit and Metis Canadians on behalf of the Catholic Church, which administered many of Canada's residential schools.
The next steps for the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc remain to be finalized, but Casimir says discussions are ongoing about possibly exhuming the remains of any children in the unmarked graves so they can be repatriated to their First Nations.
A woman places one of 215 pairs of children's shoes on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery as a memorial to the children whose remains have been found buried at the site of a former B.C. residential school, on Friday, May 28, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
'UNTIL ALL THE BABIES ARE FOUND'
In Vancouver, Haida artist Tamara Bell created a memorial honouring the victims and survivors of the Kamloops Residential School the day after the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc announced what the search of the site had found.
At the time, she told CTV News decided on shoes, to give the public an understanding of the scope of the discovery. Bell said she woke up early, cried, composed herself, and came up with a plan.
"I'm a mom, and I can't imagine my child dying at school. I can't imagine a child that I love never coming home, and not getting an answer," Bell said last year.
In the year since, the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery have been lined with hundreds of pairs of children's shoes, stuffed animals, placards and paintings.
Desiree Simeon, who is also from the Haida Nation, is one of a small group of people who have been keeping vigil and watching over the memorial.
"I spend 24/7 here, day and night. I practically live here. I do have a home, but I reside here as a second home," she said on Sunday as she reflected on the impact of the memorial as she prepared to mark the anniversary.
"What we are looking for is to open eyes more to what we've already known for generations after generations of all this abuse. There are always tons of people that are shocked by what they hear from us when we provide the information as to what happened to the children."
While the future of the memorial has not yet been decided, Simeon says there are no plans to dismantle it any time soon.
"This vigil is going to be here till all the babies are found," she said.
On May 28 there will be a ceremony at the site.
There will be singing, dancing food -- the traditional way. Everybody's invited and we encourage them to bring more stuffed animals and more shoes," she said.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Kendra Mangione.
Vancouver Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Many Canadians remain unaware of the involvement of forced child labour in the products they buy, according to non-profit agency World Vision Canada.
Hundreds of protesters descended on the U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday to denounce the justice's decision to overturn the half-century-old Roe v. Wade precedent that recognized women's constitutional right to abortion.
As Pride festivities kick off around the world, many refugees are celebrating the LGBTQ2S+ community for the first time.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau headed to the G7 summit in Germany on Saturday without a consensus from the Commonwealth to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but with a chorus of countries calling for help to overcome the fallout of the war.
The World Health Organization said the escalating monkeypox outbreak in nearly 50 countries should be closely monitored but does not warrant being declared a global health emergency.
After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, holding that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion, protesters and supporters of the ruling gathered at the high court's building in Washington, D.C., and in other cities nationwide.
With the nation's capital bracing for anticipated anti-mandate 'freedom' movement protests during Canada Day weekend, interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen says her MPs are free to attend.
A barge that ran aground near Vancouver's English Bay last year quickly became an accidental attraction, drawing selfie-seekers and inspiring T-shirt designs. But after seven months, residents seem to have grown weary of its hulking presence on the shoreline.
Ukraine's largest LGBTQ rights event, KyivPride, is going ahead on Saturday. But not on its native streets and not as a celebration.
A 15-month dispute in British Columbia's film and television industry has ended with the ratification of a new contract for creative and logistical staff working on productions shot in the province.
All ferry sailings between two of B.C.'s Discovery Islands have been cancelled Saturday because of a lack of crew.
When Tabi Henry was little, she never questioned why everyone celebrated her birthday in costume. Until she realized Oct. 31 was also Halloween.
Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 321 yards and Malik Henry scored a third-quarter, go-ahead touchdown for the Calgary Stampeders in a 30-23 win over the visiting Edmonton Elks on Saturday.
Nearly 100 Ukrainian members of Calgary’s community marched in protest calling for the release of Azovstal Iron and steel workers, defending Mariupol from Russian attacks.
After the U.S. Supreme Court stripped away constitutional protections for abortion Friday by overturning Roe v. Wade, NDP Leader Rachel Notley demanded that everyone running to become the next leader of the UCP clarify their stance on the issue.
Fans leaving the Garth Brooks concert at Commonwealth Stadium Friday night were happy and smiling, despite some logistical issues that delayed the show and frustrated some.
A Member of Parliament from rural Alberta went live on Facebook Friday to celebrate a United States Supreme Court vote to end constitutional protections for abortion.
Hundreds of people gathered in front of Edmonton City Hall Saturday to celebrate the first large Pride event in the city in four years, and the first one in Churchill Square in eight.
Dozens of people gathered outside the U.S. consulate in downtown Toronto Saturday to protest a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court to overturn constitutional protection for abortion rights.
Office workers are returning to Toronto but foot traffic on Mondays and Fridays hasn’t bounced back. Will it ever?
More people are commuting to offices downtown than at any point since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic but the recovery hasn’t been equal across the board, with both GO Transit and the TTC reporting fluctuations in ridership as many workers choose to work from home at the beginning and end of each week.
Every Monday, Mark Powell drives to the Burlington, Ont., pork plant where his wife died to give water to pigs on their way to slaughter.
Paramedics in Greater Montreal are stretched particularly thin this weekend, with nearly half the territory's ambulances parked due to a staffing shortage.
Police on Montreal's South Shore has located the suspect vehicle they say was involved in a hit-and-run that left a woman dead.
Friends and family of a 17-year-old girl who died in what police are calling an accident on the shore in LaSalle gathered Saturday to remember the Montreal teen who her mother said was 'was full of life.'
Using a trailer or an RV is an easy way for people to get out of the city and into the outdoors, but with soaring gas prices, the cost of driving with one has gone up drastically.
Winnipeg was once again pummelled by rain on Friday and the city came close to setting a rainfall record.
No one was injured but one pet died after an early morning fire Saturday.
When Ennio Muzzolini walked into Christies Mayfair Bakery in 1965 interested in purchasing the small bakery on 33rd Street, he never imagined he’d one day be looking on as hundreds of people lined the block to get their hands on a baguette, cinnamon bun or wood-fired pizza.
Organizers have decided to cancel the Elk Ridge Open due to an “inordinate amount of rain.”
A Saskatoon man whose family helped to build the Waterhen Lake Church is planning to help rebuild the church.
Over 400 people contributed to the Field of Dreams project, which led to the purchase of a large track of prairie grasslands for preservation.
The Saskatchewan NDP will elect its next leader at a convention on Sunday.
Saskatchewan RCMP are investigating after a two-vehicle collision occurred at the intersection of Highway 35 and Highway 5 in Wadena.
An Amber Alert issued by Cape Breton Regional Police on Friday has been cancelled, as the missing youth has been located safe early Saturday morning says police.
The inquiry into Nova Scotia’s 2020 mass shooting, says four pages of handwritten notes that sparked a political firestorm in Ottawa this week, weren’t immediately submitted when subpoenaed by its investigators.
'It’s in shambles': RCMP 'architects of own demise,' says criminologist after complaints in N.B. and N.S.
After a week of criticism and anger at the Mass Casualty Commission in Nova Scotia, and outcry in a rural area of New Brunswick, there are questions about the RCMP’s role in community policing.
A motorcyclist was airlifted to the hospital with unknown injuries Saturday morning following a crash in Bayham, Ont.
The identity of a pedestrian who died after being struck by a vehicle on Walpole Island has been released by police.
The Chatham-Kent police Major Crime Unit is working alongside the Ontario Fire Marshall’s Office to determine the cause of a house fire after a body was found inside the home.
Nipissing-Timiskaming Liberal MP Anthony Rota said he was shocked by Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion ruling.
With hundreds of students from India who attend Northern College, and other professionals from India who've moved to the city to work, organizers said they felt it was time to bring everyone together to celebrate their culture with the rest of the community.
A group of friends doing work on a camp in MacGregor Bay helped contain what could have been a devastating fire in Killarney Provincial Park.
A fire at a townhouse complex in Kitchener Friday night has resulted in extensive damage.
Many in Waterloo Region are reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and what it could mean for Canada.
Norfolk County OPP are investigating after they say a pedestrian was found on the side of a road and had to be airlifted to hospital.