Tk'emlups community leaders take lead in residential school investigation | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Tk'emlups community leaders take lead in residential school investigation

June 04, 2021 - 12:04 PM

Tk'emlups te Secwepemc is taking the lead on police investigations into the unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Residential School.

Kukpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir said in a press conference today, June 4, that it's important to remember the RCMP's role in Canada's residential schools.

"We must be clear that they forcibly removed children from their families to take them to residential schools," Casimir said.

In a news statement yesterday, the Tk'emlups Rural RCMP said a file is open to investigate the site, and they had both attended the site and participated in meetings with Tk'emlups leadership.

"The Band remains as the lead official at this time, and that the RCMP will continue to support the Band in determining next steps," Staff Sgt. Bill Wallace said in the release.

Wallace said the detachment will allow Band leaders to determine the best way for police to be involved, while RCMP remains "supportive, respectful and culturally sensitive to the Indigenous communities that are impacted."

At this morning's press conference, Casimir indicated the RCMP's active involvement in forcing children into residential school's represents trust issues between police and indigenous communities.

Both Tk'emlups Rural RCMP and B.C. Coroners Service have been in discussions with Band leadership and will continue to investigate, through direction from Tk'emlups te Secwepemc.

A final report of the preliminary findings at at the unmarked grave site is expected to be released near the end of June.

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.

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