Tk'emlups te Secwepemc prepare to mark one year since confirmation of evidence of unmarked graves
Tk'emlups te Secwepemc prepare to mark one year since confirmation of evidence of unmarked graves
It has been almost exactly one year since the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc confirmed evidence of what elders and residential school survivors had been saying for years about missing children being buried on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
The First Nation made the announcement to the world on May 27, four days after ground penetrating radar showed 215 possible unmarked graves at the site.
“When I first shared the news, it was devastating for many of our community members,” said Kúkpi7 Roseanne Casimir, Chief of the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc. “It’s something that shook everyone to the core, and you know, it shook me to the core.”
On Monday, the First Nation will mark the sombre anniversary with a day of ceremony and solemn reflection.
“The memorial is going to be open to the public. We’re going to be welcoming everyone to come and participate and to be a part of the ceremony as well,” Casimir said.
The confirmation of the 215 potential graves in Kamloops served as a catalyst for a series of events across the country over the last 12 months.
Other First Nations began using ground penetrating radar to search for unmarked graves at the sites of other former residential schools and hundreds have been found.
Just one month after the Kamloops announcement, Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan confirmed it located 751 suspected unmarked graves.
On Wednesday, Saddle Lake First Nation called on the federal government to provide funding for a thorough search after finding unmarked graves near the former Blue Quills Indian Residential School.
NATIONAL DAY FOR TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION
In the weeks leading up to July 1, grief and sorrow turned to anger for many Canadians.
Several Canada Day celebrations were replaced by marches and sombre ceremonies to honour residential school survivors and the children who never made it home.
“When I reflect from the day I had to share with the world the findings of the unmarked graves, and knowing that it has not only impacted myself, the community, those that live here, but has impacted the world,” said Casimir. “It just goes to show how connected and interconnected all of us are.”
In September, the federal government announced that September 30 would be a new national holiday called Truth and Reconciliation Day.
Casimir sent two invitations to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to visit the community to take part in a day of ceremony and sombre reflection on that day.
Trudeau did not respond to those requests, and instead flew over Kamloops on his way to Tofino for a family beach vacation.
The Prime Minister was very contrite on a hastily arranged visit three weeks later when he said he deeply regretted his decision.
“But I am here today to take the hand extended by the Tk'emlúps te Secwepemc and so many Indigenous Canadians across the country who have every reason in the world to feel pessimistic, and bleak about the future,” he said at the time.
PAPAL APOLOGY, VISIT
In April, a delegation of Indigenous, Métis and Inuit leaders visited the Vatican for a historic apology from Pope Francis.
“With all my heart, I am very sorry,” the Pope said, while promising to visit Canada.
He is widely expected to repeat his apology when he makes the trip in July. A stop in Kamloops is not on his itinerary. He is not scheduled to visit B.C. at all.
All of these events over the last 12 months can be traced back to the announcement of the 215 unmarked children’s graves in Kamloops.
“It was the children. It was children that brought us together. And that we mourn together and we grieve together,” said Casimir. “For many this is about our collective history and it’s about those meaningful steps moving forward.”
Further steps for the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc could include exhuming the remains so the missing children can be returned to their home communities with dignity.
If you are a former residential school student in distress, or have been affected by the residential school system and need help, you can contact the 24-hour Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419, or the Indian Residential School Survivors Society toll free line at 1-800-721-0066.
Additional mental-health support and resources for Indigenous people are available here.
Vancouver Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Police officers in cruisers, on foot patrol and on bicycles are patrolling the Parliamentary Precinct, the ByWard Market and the so-called 'motor vehicle control zone,' as the city prepares for Canada's 155th birthday celebrations and possible protests.
Multiple crashes involving bears in a B.C. national park earlier this month prompted a crackdown on drivers in the area, according to the B.C. Highway Patrol and Parks Canada.
The Royal Canadian Navy says it has relieved the commanding officer of a warship in the Pacific Fleet.
Russian missile attacks on residential areas in a coastal town near the Ukrainian port city of Odesa early Friday killed at least 18 people, including two children, authorities reported, a day after Russian forces withdrew from a strategic Black Sea island.
A rare portrait of Diana, Princess of Wales, will be on public display for the first time after it was recently sold for US$201,600 at auction.
Saanich police will hold another update on a deadly shooting that took place on Tuesday afternoon, leaving two suspects dead and six officers with gunshot wounds.
Two of Canada's largest airlines announced steps this week to cope with delays, cancellations and service issues. Head to CTVNews.ca to read about the changes announced by Air Canada and WestJet.
Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre joined the final leg of a march led by a Canadian soldier charged for speaking out against COVID-19 vaccine requirements that has sparked promises -- and fears -- of a new wave of protests in the capital.
Ottawa protest organizer Tamara Lich will spend at least five more nights in custody in Ottawa after she was arrested in Alberta for allegedly breaching bail conditions.
The commanding officer of a Royal Canadian Navy vessel based in Esquimalt has been relieved of his duties, the Canadian Armed Forces announced Thursday evening.
Mounties on Vancouver Island are warning of a recent spike in catalytic converter thefts, with more than 50 thefts of the devices reported to police in the Oceanside, B.C., area this year.
Thousands of Calgarians are ready to ring in Canada’s 155th birthday as festivities are set to be held across the city, but not everyone is calling this a ‘celebration.’
A southeast Calgary bank was evacuated Thursday afternoon, to allow hazardous materials crews to investigate a strange incident.
The daughter of a Calgary man shot and killed by police earlier this year is calling for details regarding data the service is collecting about interactions between police and people of colour.
An often-vandalized memorial featuring the face of former MP Frank Oliver will no longer be displayed in front of Edmonton's Fairmont Hotel Macdonald.
A damning new report from Alberta's auditor general finds government ministries failed to include understandable, relevant and comparable data on COVID-19 in year-end reporting.
A man is facing multiple charges in connection with a rash of arsons in the Alberta Avenue area, and police are calling him a key suspect in a complex investigation.
Ontario drivers could soon see the end of "unfair" insurance policies with premiums based on postal codes, Premier Doug Ford said Thursday.
Ontario gas prices are about to take a huge drop and one expert says it will be 'well worth waiting' if drivers can hold off on filling up.
A man has been arrested after a car exploded in front of a police station in Oshawa.
Consumer rights advocates are demanding Air Canada provide compensation to many of the hundreds of thousands of passengers whose summer flights it cancelled.
Organizers of a Montreal Caribbean festival are looking for clarity from police as to why a large group of officers interrupted their pre-festival barbecue on Saint-Jean Baptiste Day.
Two people have been reported dead and one person is in critical condition after a fire broke out in a home in Longueuil on Montreal's South Shore.
A crash involving a Transit bus that appears to have smashed into a home has shut down a road near Osborne Village.
Security measures are expected to be beefed up at two Winnipeg locations Friday when Canada Day events get underway.
AMC working to remove Arlen Dumas after probe found his conduct amounted to 'workplace sexual harassment'
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs is working to remove Arlen Dumas as Grand Chief of the organization.
Saskatchewan's social services minister announced plans to cut funding to Saskatoon's permanent downtown shelter during a talk radio appearance.
A video captured by a Saskatchewan man shows a kayaker paddling away from a developing tornado.
It’s been 25 years since Saskatchewan’s last residential school closed, but some are still healing.
Summer is officially here as the first long weekend of the season approaches. The last week has been filled with active summer weather and heading into the weekend the story isn’t much different.
Live performance kicks off at noon on the main stage in Wascana Park with opening ceremonies, followed by a variety of entertainment:
The Saskatchewan Roughriders have 12 players on either the one or six game injured lists and 10 roster players listed as ‘out’ or ‘questionable’ leading into Saturday’s week four rematch versus Montreal.
The spouse of the gunman in the Nova Scotia mass shooting will testify mid-July before a public inquiry, but she won't face direct questions from lawyers representing victims' families.
As Claire Mahaney-Lion dropped her son off at school this morning, she questioned the reasons behind scheduling a school day that would last fewer than two hours.
Saint John is having its dog day. The host city of the 2022 Memorial Cup is celebrating after the Saint John Sea Dogs bested the Hamilton Bulldogs 6-3 in front of a capacity crowd during Wednesday's championship game at TD Station.
If you were one of the thousands of Londoners who bought gas on Thursday— you overpaid.
On any given day it’s not hard to find out what’s happening in the major, mainstream sports. But what about those sports that don’t have the same high profile, star players, or commercial sponsors as the likes of hockey, baseball, or golf?
Police continue to investigate after a fatal collision involving a cyclist claimed the life of a 17-year-old from Crediton.
The second annual Mooz Akinonmaaget Maa Aki Moose Hunt initiative was launched Thursday in Sudbury.
With Health Canada's permission, street drugs can now be consumed inside Safe Health Site Timmins.
Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services is helping seniors protect themselves against fire. The Assisting Seniors Awareness Program or Project ASAP is focussed on those 65 or older, and still living independently.
The eviction deadline for people living at an encampment at Victoria and Weber Streets in Kitchener has come and gone, but residents of the property say they’re not moving.
A miscommunication involving a COVID-19 booster shot has left a Kitchener woman concerned for her 86-year-old mother.
The news comes just two days after the City launched a naming contest for the young bird, which it said was the first offspring of Victoria Park swans, Otis and Ophelia.