Mayor Cindy Fortin will be heading to Kamloops this weekend
Here’s a message from the Mayor, posted on her Facebook page earlier today:
I have started writing and re-writing this many times over the last several days, but it’s difficult to find the words. The discovery of 215 children’s remains at the Kamloops Residential School site is almost too horrifying and heartbreaking for a person to wrap their head around.
I will be driving out to Kamloops this weekend to pay my respects and to lay a wreath on behalf of the community of Peachland. If anyone would like me to place a pair of children’s shoes with a note inside on their behalf, please drop them off at the Community Centre’s temporary District office by Friday at 2 pm. I’d be happy to take them with me. You can let me know you’ve dropped them off by either emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by leaving a message at 250.212.9416.
While our hearts and condolences go out to the families of those children, and all of the First Nations and Indigenous people, it is NOT enough. We cannot think of this as just something that happened in the past, but as the present. I can’t imagine how the First Nations and Indigenous Peoples feel today having had what happened to these children revealed, as they have said all along. The grief must be heavy for those who are family members, (and especially the young people of today around the age of these lost and innocent children), and the grieving, anger and heartbreak they are all enduring now, and over the past decades and centuries.
We can’t let time lessen our resolve to do everything we can, including ensuring that the higher levels of government work harder on reconciliation, that includes working with Indigenous communities (under their lead and direction) in locating all the missing and murdered children at the many residential school sites across Canada, and returning them to their families. This would be just the start. It is only the beginning.
With a heavy heart,
Mayor Cindy Fortin.