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New Downtown Crosswalk Art Installed in Honour of Truth and Reconciliation

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Kamloops, BC—The City of Kamloops, in partnership with the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) and Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc (TteS), unveiled a new crosswalk on Friday, May 20, in honour and respect of the anniversary of the confirmation of Le Estcwicwéy̓ (The Missing). The crosswalk, located at the corner of 5th Avenue and Victoria Street, displays seven eagle feathers in a design that was adopted in consultation with the TteS Language and Culture Department and approved by the TteS Council.

The timing of the crosswalk’s installation is purposeful. One year ago, ground-penetrating radar confirmed the existence of unmarked graves of 215 children who were students at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. These children are known now as Le Estcwicwéỳ (The Missing). This was the first discovery of multiple similar investigations that have revealed thousands of unmarked graves at residential schools across Canada.

Left to Right: Sherry and Clayton Peters, TNRD Director Mel Rothenburger, Mayor Ken Christian, Tkwenem7íple7 (Councillor) Morning-Star Peters

“The anniversary of Le Estcwicwéy̓ reminds us of the tragic history of the past where children were lost, terrible injustices occurred, and Indigenous culture was threatened. The City of Kamloops stands with Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and all Indigenous peoples as the healing continues. We hope the installation of this Indigenous crosswalk encourages residents and visitors to learn about the true history and help create a better tomorrow,” explained Mayor Ken Christian.

“This crosswalk project is important to the TNRD as a means of honoring our friends and partners who have shown courage and leadership as they have stepped up and guided the rest of Canada on a path of truth and healing, even as they continue to process their own pain this past year,” said Mel Rothenburger, TNRD Director. “It is our responsibility to recognize the truths of our local past and to support efforts towards reconciliation.”Acting Kukpi7 Morning-Star Peters stated “Kukwstép-kucw to the City of Kamloops and the TNRD for their ongoing support. This act of recognition is a visual reminder of our joint commitment to reconciliation, inclusiveness, awareness, and healing.”

"Elder Diena Jules gives an opening blessing"
Elder Diena Jules - opening remarks and song

TteS is hosting a full day special ceremony on May 23, 2022, at the the Tk̓emlúps Powwow Arbour to mark one year since the announcement of the confirmation of Le Estcwicwe̓y̓. The event will begin at 5:00 am with a sunrise ceremony and will continue with pipe carriers, jingle dress dancers, hand drummers, and more throughout the day until 7:00 pm. All members of the public are welcome to attend and honor Le Estcwicwe̓y̓. For more information, visit: Tkemlups.ca/event/memorial-for-215/