Lower Mainland Sixties Scoop survivor bringing his knowledge to Kamloops convoy | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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Lower Mainland Sixties Scoop survivor bringing his knowledge to Kamloops convoy

Cyril Chippeway is joining the second annual We Stand in Solidarity convoy, June 18.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Cyril Chippeway

A Coquitlam Sixties Scoop survivor has a first-hand experience of the impact that residential schools had on Indigenous peoples across the country.

Cyril Chippeway is joining the second annual We Stand in Solidarity convoy in support of residential school survivors and their families this month. The convoy originally began last year after the discovery of 215 children’s remains at the former Kamloops Residential School site.

READ MORE: Second annual Kelowna to Kamloops convoy to honour residential school survivors

Originally from Manitoba, Ojibwa brothers Cyril and Lyle are participating in the convoy, June 18.

Their father attended a residential school in Manitoba. Cyril said he was likely treated better than other residents as he played hockey for the school and worked as a farmhand outdoors.

But he would hear stories of the numbers of children crammed into other rooms along with the crying and the troubles that came with that, Cyril said.

“He didn’t get any abuse he said, but he’s a very quiet man and I haven’t chewed the knowledge out of him,” he said.

READ MORE: 'I am very sorry:' A look at the history, hurdles of papal apologies

When the family moved to Vancouver, the three oldest siblings were separated into foster homes as part of the Sixties Scoop, the mass removal of Indigenous children from their families into the child welfare system.

“We were at our grandmother’s house and they just came in and said there were too many kids in the home since my mother wasn’t around and my father was a farm worker, so we were at grandmother’s most of the time,” he said.

It wasn’t until he was 28 that Cryil reunited with his brother and his other family members.

“It’s a typical story, I got bounced around to a couple of different foster homes… and I left at about 17 and was out on my own since,” he said. “My brother has been my best friend since then and we learned to find everybody else so it’s been alright.”

The company the brothers work for, Brewers Distributor Limited, is lending them a truck for the convoy and is paying for their fuel costs. A former colleague of Cryil’s participated last year in the Interior convoy, so he approached his company and asked for support initially last year, so this will be his second run.

“They’ve really been involved since we started this and I’m quite amazed by it,” Cyril said.

The We Stand in Solidarity convoy begins at UBC Okanagan’s lower parking lot at 10 a.m. and will end at the former residential school site on Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc land.

READ MORE: Remains of 215 children found at former residential school in Kamloops

“We’ve had conversations through our family because our dad was in residential school and he had to work with a living while he was there… it was a chance for me to have my voice and spread the knowledge that I get through my company,” Cyril said.

 


To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 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.

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