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June 1, 2021

This page was prepared by Michaela Vendiola, Tribal Liaison for North Sound ACH. Please reach out to Michaela Vendiola if you want more resources or connections.

Facts:

  • Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc is the what the First Nations people call themselves. But the Canadian Government calls the Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc the Kamloops Indian Band.
  • Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc lands are located 203 miles northeast of Bellingham, WA. Driving to Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc would be less than a days travel from Bellingham, WA and would be a drive of 3 hours and 42 minutes.
  • Kamloops Indian Residential School is also a 203 mile drive from Bellingham, WA. 

RESOURCES – From the Tk’emlúps website:

  1. Remains of Children of Kamloops Residential School Discovered. Press Release from Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Kukpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir. Posted on: May 27, 2021.

“May 27, 2021, Kamloops – It is with a heavy heart that Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Kukpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir confirms an unthinkable loss that was spoken about but never documented by the Kamloops Indian Residential School. This past weekend, with the help of a ground penetrating radar specialist, the stark truth of the preliminary findings came to light – the confirmation of the remains of 215 children who were students of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.”

  1. May 31, 2021 | Statement from the Office of the Chief, Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir. Press Release from the office of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Kukpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir. Posted on: May 31, 2021.

“As the last logs go on our sacred fire, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude for the outpouring of support to our community. Thank you for helping us bring to light such hard truths that came from the preliminary findings regarding the unmarked burial sites of Kamloops Indian Residential School students so that we may begin the process of honouring the lost loved ones who are in our caretaking. We love, honour, and respect these children, their families, and communities.”

  1. Tk’emlúps History
  1. Kamloops Indian Band promotional video Part #1. From the Tk’emlúps website and youtube. Note the discussion that begins at minute 4:25 as these previous treaty allotments and continued government-to-government discussions (as seen in this video) may have an impact on the ways in which the Canadian government can begin making action based accountability; especially since accountability is what is directly being asked of them from the First Nations leadership and people of the area.

RESOURCES – From Native, Indigenous, First Nations, American Indian/Alaska Native news sources:

Indian Country Today

  1. Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald and the Chiefs of Ontario mourn the loss of the 215 children lost at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Indian Country Today. June 1, 2021.

“This was not just a “dark chapter” in Canadian history; this is genocide against Indigenous peoples across Turtle Island.”

  1. Canada: Bodies at residential school not isolated incident. Indian Country Today. May 31, 2021.

“Shoes sit on the Eternal flame in recognition of discovery of children’s remains at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia, on parliament hill in Ottawa, Ontario, on Monday May 31, 2021. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 First Nations children were required to attend state-funded Christian schools as part of a program to assimilate them into Canadian society.”

  1. 215 bodies found at residential school in Canada. Indian Country Today. May 29, 2021.

“The former Kamloops Indian Residential School is seen on Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada on Thursday, May 27, 2021. The remains of 215 children have been found buried on the site of the former residential school in Kamloops. (Andrew Snucins/The Canadian Press via AP). More bodies may be found because there are more areas to search on the school grounds.”

Native News Online

  1. The Appalling Discovery in Kamloops is Irrefutable Evidence of a Crime Against Humanity. Native News Online. June 1, 2021.

“The appalling discovery of the bodies of 215 Indigenous children hidden in unmarked graves at the site of the residential school in Kamloops, B.C., is irrefutable evidence of a crime against humanity.

The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Band confirmed Thursday that ground-penetrating radar had detected the remains of the children on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, which was operated by the Roman Catholic Church.”

  1. Remembering the 215 Indigenous Children Found in Unmarked Graves at Canadian Residential School. Native News Online. May 31, 2021.

“KAMLOOPS, B.C. — As people in the United States spent time this past weekend to remember those who gave their lives for their country while serving in the U.S. military, First Nations people and Native Americans across Indian Country paid tribute to the loss of 215 children,  whose remains were recently discovered at the site of a former residential school near the town of Kamloops, British Colombia.

A Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Nation (Kamloops Indian Band) news release last Thursday revealed the horrifying news that the remains of 215 children, some as young as three-year-old, were uncovered at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.”

RESOURCES – From non-Native news source in the Kamloops area:

Kamloops This Week

  1. Tk’emlups says Canada needs to add accountability to messages of sympathy. Kamloops This Week. May 31, 2021.

“Chief Rosanne Casimir said the Tk’emlups community is also asking all Canadians to reacquaint themselves with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report and Calls to Action and to show solidarity by wearing an orange shirt and starting conversations with neighbours about why they are doing so.”

RESOURCES – From North Sound region Natives:215 Stand in Solidarity event. Friday – June 4, 2021 at 5:00pm at the mainstreet bridge in Ferndale, WA.

Source: The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition

“367 Schools. 73 remain open today. 15 still boarding.” (2020).

  1. US Indian Boarding School History. National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition.

“The truth about the US Indian boarding school policy has largely been written out of the history books. There were more than 350 government-funded, and often church-run, Indian Boarding schools across the US in the 19th and 20th centuries. Indian children were forcibly abducted by government agents, sent to schools hundreds of miles away, and beaten, starved, or otherwise abused when they spoke their native languages.”

  1. Standing Bear Nation artwork. By Kent Monkman, Cree Nation. May 24, 2021.

Visual Content Warning re: Kidnapping.

RESOURCES: from the June Tribal Learning Series

  1. June Partner Learning Session (06/16/2021) – Healing Dialogue: Stepping out of the wheel of suffering and inducing our truth. Holding Space with Solana Booth. (Recording)
  2. Protecting our Women, Protecting our Earth (08/27/2019) – A discussion between Hester Dillon and Victoria Sweet of the NOVO Foundation, Solana Booth, Carmenza de Columbia, Aline Prata and Isabella James of Children of the Setting Sun Productions. Interview took place at the 2019 Paddle to Lummi Canoe Journey. (Video by Children of the Setting Sun Productions)
  3. Walking our Spirits Home (06/11/2021) – Today we gather in ceremony for our Friends and Relatives in Shuswap. They are marching today in honor of 215 children lost to the boarding school. We pray in solidarity to return their spirits home. We pray for the dead and stand strong together for the living. (Video/recording by Children of the Setting Sun Productions)
  4. Children of the Setting Sun Productions is having a land acknowledgment ceremony with PeaceHealth on San Juan Island on June 22nd, and in Bellingham July 14th, both at noon.
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