Kamloops resident Brock Fraser is running to show support for the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community and residential school survivors in the aftermath of the discovery of the remains of 215 children on land near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
Fraser, an Indigenous man who grew up in Lillooet, has pledged to run 215 kilometres in two weeks and started a fundraiser last week, with the goal of raising $1,000.
The Facebook fundraiser — Brock’s 215km for 215 Children Run and Fundraiser — had raised more than $41,000 as of Tuesday afternoon (June 8).
“It’s been absolutely incredible,” Fraser told KTW on Tuesday. “It’s crazy to see what the power of social media, combined with somebody wanting to do a good thing, can do for a community. The stories I’ve heard from actual residential school survivors and their families, of how what I’m doing has touched their hearts and allowed them to tell their stories, that’s been the best part for me.”
All funds raised will go to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.
“My wife and I have two young boys (ages 5 and 2) and trying to imagine them being forcibly removed from our arms to be taken to a residential school is incomprehensible to me,” Fraser wrote on the Facebook page. “We live merely hundreds of metres from the burial grounds, which for the remainder of my time will serve as a daily reminder of the torture these children and their families endured.”
Fraser is asking for company on the runs, which start and finish at the former residential school at Highway 5 and Shuswap Road.
The first run took place this past Monday. Drummers helped send him off from the start line and he was joined by about 12 runners.
He plans to do 10 runs of 21.5 kilometres each over 14 days. Run No. 2 is slated to begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 8.
Go online to the Facebook page to find out when the remaining runs are scheduled.