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Tk'emlúps thanks City of Kamloops for its support

During an Oct. 20 Tk’emlúps-City of Kamloops community-to-community forum, Tk'emlúps Kúkpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir said the city has shown support through its words and its actions
Tk'emlúps Chief Rosanne Casimir 2021
Tk'emlúps Chief Rosanne Casimir.

Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc Kúkpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir thanked the city on Wednesday (Oct. 20) for its support in the wake of its discovery of probable unmarked graves on grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

During the first Tk’emlúps-City of Kamloops community-to-community forum held in the wake of the May discovery — and the first biannual meeting of its kind held in person since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic — Casimir said the city has shown support through its words and its actions.

She said orange lights displayed by the city in the spring were meaningful and powerful. She also thanked people of Kamloops who came to mourn and grieve with Tk’emlúps and for volunteers who arrived to help.

“Good friends show up in times of difficulty,” Casimir said. “You were there. Thank you. We consider you friends.”

Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian said he has watched Casimir on the national news in this past week, noting she represented her community and the broader community of Kamloops in an “exemplary fashion” on an issue that resonates across the world.

Christian said he had the opportunity to speak on the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30, something he said he knows is not an opportunity afforded to every non-Indigenous leader and an opportunity he appreciated.

“That was very powerful for me,” he said.

Christian said Murray Rankin, the province’s minister of Indigenous relations and reconciliation, told him the relationship between Kamloops and Tk’emlúps is a model he would like to see in other communities across British Columbia.