Honouring Le Estcwicwéý (The Missing)

Posted On Tuesday May 24, 2022

To commemorate the one-year anniversary of the confirmation of the findings of the unmarked graves on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, School District No. 73 (Kamloops-Thompson) has planned educational activities and events and provided emotional support resources for students and staff throughout the district. 

“We are committed to remembering and acknowledging the tragic history of residential schools and the continuing impact on our communities,” said Board Chair Heather Grieve. “We must remain resolved to actively work towards a better future through equity and reconciliation.”

“Our staff, students, and families will join in recognizing this anniversary to honour those lives lost and all of those impacted by the tragic findings,” said Superintendent Dr. Rhonda Nixon. “We recognize that this anniversary may be a trigger for students, staff, and families, so we have supports in place.” 

On Wednesday, May 25, students in grade 4 and 5 will participate in a Secwepemc cultural event at the first district powwow at Tk’emlúps te Secwe´pemc. Starting with a traditional Grand Procession entering the arbour, the powwow runs from 10 am to 1:30 pm. 

“Powwows serve an important role in many Indigenous peoples' lives as a forum to visit family and friends and to celebrate their cultural heritage,” said Mike Bowden, District Principal Aboriginal Education. “They also serve as a site for cross-cultural sharing with other attendees and participants.” 

In addition to the traditional songs, drumming, and dancing, a special acknowledgement of the one-year anniversary of the 215 children will be made by Tk’emlups te Secwe´pemc during the powwow event. 

On Friday, May 27, in schools and work places, students and staff are encouraged to wear orange in honour of Le Estcwicwéy, the 215 missing children. 

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