Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Updates on ‘215’ Truth Search: Stay Informed!

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Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc says '215' search for truth continues



“**Unearthing the Painful Truth: Reflecting on the Search for Missing Children at Kamloops Residential School**

In a heart-wrenching revelation that shook the nation three years ago, the Tk?emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation announced preliminary evidence suggesting the burial of approximately 200 sets of remains at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School (KIRS). This somber discovery marked the beginning of a profound journey towards truth and healing for the missing children and survivors of this dark chapter in Canadian history.

**The Quest for Closure: A Sacred Duty**

As the anniversary of the initial radar survey, May 27, 2021, approached, the significance of the number ‘215’ loomed large. However, the clarification by Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc that about 200 potential burial sites were identified, highlighted the scale of the tragedy that unfolded at KIRS. Chief Kúkpi7 Rosanne Casimir emphasized the nation’s unwavering commitment to honoring the missing children and ensuring inter-generational healing.

On May 23, a day dedicated to reflecting on Le Estcwicwe?y?, the missing, Chief Casimir extended her love and gratitude to survivors of all residential schools, acknowledging the pain and suffering endured by generations. The outpouring of support from communities across the country reaffirmed the collective responsibility to acknowledge and address this dark chapter in Canadian history.

**Preserving Integrity through Investigation**

The ongoing investigation into the burial sites at KIRS is shrouded in confidentiality to maintain the integrity of the process. Utilizing various methods such as archival documentation, survivor testimonies, archaeological surveys, and forensic analysis, including DNA testing, the search for truth is guided by Secwépemc laws, traditions, and values. Chief Casimir reiterated the commitment to upholding the truth while respecting the sacredness of the site.

**Navigating Denialism and Upholding Truth**

Despite the harrowing testimonies of elders and survivors about the tragic events at KIRS, the quest for truth has faced skepticism and denialism. Chief Casimir expressed gratitude for the allies who stood against the backlash, emphasizing the importance of acknowledging the historical trauma inflicted on Indigenous peoples. The anniversaries of significant milestones like the preliminary findings often serve as a platform for denialists to distort the truth, challenging the foundations of truth and reconciliation in Canada.

Experts caution against succumbing to denialist narratives, urging society to confront the uncomfortable truths of the past. Sean Carleton, an assistant professor of history and Indigenous studies, emphasized the need to debunk denialist rhetoric and preserve the memory of the lives lost at residential schools. The path to reconciliation requires a collective reckoning with the painful legacy of assimilation policies and systemic oppression.

**A Call for Remembering and Healing**

As the search for missing children continues and denialism persists, the survivors and families of KIRS remain steadfast in their quest for justice and closure. Angela White, executive director of the Indian Residential School Survivors Society, emphasized the importance of documenting and preserving the truths shared by survivors, ensuring that the memory of those lost children endures. The families of Le Estcwicwe?y? seek solace in the knowledge that their stories will be remembered and honored, paving the way for healing and reconciliation.

In the shadow of tragedy and loss, the journey towards truth and healing at Kamloops Indian Residential School serves as a poignant reminder of the resilience and strength of Indigenous communities. As we reflect on the painful past, let us commit to standing in solidarity with survivors, amplifying their voices, and honoring the memory of the missing children. Only by confronting the truth can we pave the way for a more just and compassionate future.”



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