The City of Kamloops is excited to announce the first installation of a collaborative banner project with Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc (TteS). On Thursday, October 7, 2021, the banners on the exterior of City Hall were replaced with a new design that demonstrates TteS and the City of Kamloops’ togetherness. 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. These banners will be installed on light standards throughout Kamloops over the next month.
While the project concept began five years ago, the timing of the installation this year, closely following the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, 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,” explained Mayor Ken Christian. “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.”
“TteS has greatly appreciated the support from the City of Kamloops since the finding of the Le Estcwéý (the Missing Children),” said Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir. “These banners help to showcase our solidarity, unity, and friendship. This project is an excellent example of reconciliation in action, and for that we are grateful.”
The City acknowledges that there is much more work to be done in the ongoing effort towards Truth and Reconciliation.
“We recognize that these banners aren’t solutions,” said Christian. “We hope they can be meaningful symbols of the City’s commitment towards growth, and a visual reminder of the history of the land we live on.”
Support is available for anyone affected by the traumatic legacy of residential schools and those who are triggered by the latest reports and recoveries. The Indian Residential School Survivors Society can be contacted toll free at 1-800-721-0066. A national Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. People can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419.