The City of Kamloops and Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc have unveiled the first installation of a collaborative banner project that will be featured across the community.
Together on Oct. 8, Mayor Ken Christian and T’kemlúps te Secwépemc Kúkpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir hoisted one of the 200 banners to be installed in key areas throughout the city in the coming week.
The banners were designed by local artist Lyle Paul, who worked through several concepts to find colours, images and messaging that best represented both communities and their common bonds.
The banners will be installed on light standards near the Tournament Capital Centre, on McArthur Island, along Lorne Street and Victoria Street West and at the north and south ends of Overlanders Bridge.
“Our relationship with the city has been built upon for many, many decades,” Casimir said.
“We’re very proud of our collaboration with the city.”
While the project concept began five years ago, the timing of the installation this year, following in the shadow of the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30, is of particular significance.
“The finding of the missing unmarked graves at residential schools this year, first in Kamloops and now across the country, has started a conversation that we want to engage in and has taught us lessons we want to continue learning,”Christian said.
“The new banners being installed around the city are a symbol of a lot more work taking place behind the scenes to build togetherness between our two communities.”
Christian said the city acknowledges there is much more work to be done in the ongoing efforts toward truth and reconciliation.
“We want this to be a community celebration of art,” he said.
“We recognize that these banners aren’t solutions. We hope they can be meaningful symbols of the city’s commitment toward growth and a visual reminder of the history of the land we live on.”