A kilometre for each child: Kamloops runner fundraising for residential school survivors | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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A kilometre for each child: Kamloops runner fundraising for residential school survivors

Fraser is taking his passion for running from fitness and competition to fundraising for families affected by residential schools.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Brock Fraser
June 02, 2021 - 4:38 PM

When Brock Fraser heard the news of an unmarked burial site at the former Kamloops Residential School, he was at a work camp in Alberta.

After taking the time to learn about the legacy of Canada's residential schools and imagining his own two young children being forced into the system, he decided to take action.

Fraser devised a plan to run 215 kilometres over two weeks, in honour of the 215 children found  buried near the residential school building.

"Since starting the fundraiser, I'm getting messages from many people from back home in Lillooet telling me their personal experiences (with residential schools) that I never knew of before now," he said. "Imagine something so terrible to have RCMP come to your house and take your kids away. I don't know how these families made it through."

READ MORE: The lasting impact of surviving Kamloops residential school

Fraser feels that the school curriculum during his years in elementary and high school lacked the necessary coverage of residential schools in Canada, and he's disappointed he's had to learn on his own.

"But I'm to blame," he said, adding that he's doing his homework now. "I didn't learn until this week that the last (residential school) closed in 1996 in Saskatchewan."

All donations to his fundraiser will be sent to the North Vancouver-based Indian Residential School Survivor Society.

The society provides mental health counselling and cultural support services to survivors and their families.

READ MORE: Canadians can expect more remains to be found at residential school sites

"I want to use this fundraiser to raise awareness for the services available to (survivors)," Fraser said.

The fundraiser goal was originally set for $500, but in two days, it has already surpassed $10,000.

He is going to start and end each run at the former residential school, but the distance will vary from 15 to 35 km. Routes have not been determined yet, but he plans to update the fundraiser Facebook page each night before the morning run.

Donations and updates to Fraser's fundraiser can be found on the Facebook page here.

If you find yourself in need of support please contact one of these organizations:

Indian Residential School Survivors: 1-800-721-0066

KUU-US Indigenous crisis line - available 24 hours
Youth Line: 250-723-2040
Adult Line: 250-723-4050

Residential School Crisis line - available 24 hours: 1-866-925-4419


To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

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