Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc will welcome members of the Warriors Walk for Healing Nations, who are scheduled to arrive in the community on Monday, Aug. 9.
The Warrior Walk began on June 26, with participants walking from Whitehorse to Kamloops in recognition of the discovery in May of about 200 probable graves on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
The walkers attended the demolition of the residential school in Lower Post on June 30 and have been trekking southward since. During this time, additional grave sites have been identified on other residential school sites across Canada.
On Aug. 2, the walkers arrived in Quesnel and spoke with the Quesnel Cariboo Observer.
“I think the enormity of the impacts of residential schools has been heavy on our hearts,” said walker and organizer Jacqueline Shorty. “Thinking of all the things Indigenous Canadians have had to endure has been tough. It’s been hard and it’s stretched us in every way possible — emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically.”
On Aug. 3, the group reached Williams Lake, where the Williams Lake First Nation is searching the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission residential school using ground-penetrating radar, the same technology used in the discovery of the probable unmarked graves found in Kamloops.
The group, consisting of members of the Tahltan, Vuntut Gwich’in, Northern and Southern Tutchone, Tlingit and Kaska nations, are expected to arrive at the brake check on Highway 1 just west of Dufferin on Monday, Aug. 9, at about 9 a..m.
From there, participants will continue east in Highway 1 and north on Highway 5 as they make their way to the Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc Powwow Arbour for a 1 p.m,. ceremony.
— with a file from the Local Journalism Initiative