Kamloops artist raises $10K for the Indian Residential School Survivors Society | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops artist raises $10K for the Indian Residential School Survivors Society

Kel-C Jules, an Indigenous artist, teacher and model in Kamloops, poses for a photograph, Thursday, July 1, 2021. She teamed up with the owners at Overtime Apparel and Promotions to sell orange T-shirts to raise money for the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.
July 02, 2021 - 8:00 PM

Kamloops artist Kel-C Jules has teamed up with the owners of Overtime Apparel and Promotions to sell orange shirts as a fundraiser for the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.

The group set up under a canopy tent on the Tk’emlups First Nation early yesterday morning, July 1, and were sold out of the shirts by noon. Jules started the fundraiser one week ago, and has raised $10,000, all of which will be sent to the survivors society head office in North Vancouver.

Jules created the design for the front of the shirts. She says when the bodies of children were found on the residential grounds in Kamloops earlier this year, she knew more unmarked graves would be discovered across the country. For this reason, her design is surrounded by the shape of a turtle.

“I wanted to make sure I represented everybody all over Turtle Island,” Jules said. “I also wanted to include secwepemc artwork. There are pictographs of a sunrise and sunset because the children had a sunrise. They were born somewhere and their sunset was here. Mount Peter and Paul are depicted because Kamloops is one of the first locations where the children were finally found. There is a staff on the South Thompson river depicting the 17 bands of the Secwepemcuecw as well an eagle on the North Thompson that will carry the children home.”

The design is surrounded by dozens of Xs that resemble stars. Each of these stars represents a child found at the Kamloops residential school. The words “every child matters” are at the bottom, written by Jules’ dad, who is a residential school survivor.

“It was taught to me by my auntie Jeanette Jules that the X represents the four directions,” Jules said. “Bernice Jensen taught me that the X, or four directions, is always turning so they can be facing any direction. Things are going to change.”

Jules says it is important to her that her artwork will be helping so many people who need it. She is very thankful for the collaboration with Steve Gillis from Overtime Apparel and Promotions.

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