Buildings in Kamloops and Tk’emlups were bathed in an orange glow in recent nights, in honour of the remains of the 215 children that were discovered on grounds near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
In addition to orange lights being shone on the former residential school’s brick face and on the nearby Arbour, Kamloops City Hall, the interior of the Canada Games Pool and Thompson Rivers University’s Residence Building have also been splashed with the orange hue.
Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian said about 7,000 Indigenous people live in Kamloops and residential school survivors are likely among them. Christian said council has received numerous emails and “pleas” from within the community to respond. He said it is a difficult time, due to pandemic-related gathering restrictions prohibiting a memorial gathering.
Christian said the city has done things big and small, including lighting up buildings, issuing statements of support and delivering food to members of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc council.
Christian said the city has a good relationship with Tk’emlups, noting work following the discovery of the remains will not be quick and will not be on the basis of European solutions.
“To the leadership of the TTS and to the membership of the TTS, you have my heartfelt sympathies and my commitment that this council and myself and our staff will continue to work with you, as we seek resolution to this,” Christian said. “And it won’t be fast and it won’t be simple, but it will be heartfelt and it will be meaningful and it will be genuine.”