On Saturday, members of local First Nations and the Syilx Okanagan Nation Alliance will travel to the site of the Kamloops Residential School.
The For the Children Caravan of Syilx leaders, Indian Residential School survivors, their families (inter-generational), elders, members, and youth from across the Okanagan Nation will depart from the South Okanagan Events Centre at 9 a.m.
One of the goals is to bring together people in unity and support the survivors and each other through the emotional impact from the recent discoveries.
“This caravan is a direct response to the lack of justice in the face of the recent discovery of the burial sites of 215 children at Kamloops Indian Residential School (KIRS) and 715 children at the Marieval Indian Residential School reported by the Cowessess First Nation, alongside many others nationwide,” reads the release.
Non-Syilx allies who wish to support the caravan on Saturday are asked to line Highway 97 close to the nearest caravan departure location and time to cheer on the participants.
Once the caravan departs from Penticton, it will meet up with caravans departing from the Westbank First Nation Office at 9:50 a.m., from Vernon Okanagan College Campus at 10:50 a.m., from Douglas Lake Road at 11:40 a.m. at from the Kamloops Petro-Pass at 12:10 p.m. to arrive the Kamloops Indian Residential School at 12:30 p.m.
The Okanagan Nation Alliance has other ways it hopes that non-Syilx allies can help support them.
Those include educating yourself on the history and ongoing impacts of the Indian Residential School system. The Okanagan Nation Alliance has a wealth of resources regarding the Syilx Indian Residential School experience at syilx.org/wellness/indian-residential-school/.
The ONA’s “Take the Indian Out the Child” book can also be purchased at syilx.org/shop.
Allies can also voice their support by contacting local, provincial and federal elected officials to call on them to act on the Calls to Action in the Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC). To learn more about the TRC and its findings you can go to trc.ca.
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