A sea of orange flooded the streets of Enderby as steps towards healing were taken on Indigenous Day.
Splatsin elders, adults and youth led the Every Child Matters March Monday, June 21, for the 215 children that were found at the Kamloops Residential School.
“It was amazing. I was hoping for about 100,” organizer Lyndsey Leon said. “And to have almost 300 people come out was fantastic. I absolutely loved seeing the sea of orange shirts marching down the road in Enderby.”
It was a powerful image, Leon’s aunt Dee Cook said.
“I was very emotional,” said Cook in a meaningful Facebook post after the event.
“Mari Summers thanks to you and everyone else who came out. I am so proud to be part of a nationwide event to remember all the children. Every child matters!”
Summers questioned Cook for thanking her.
“I am thanking you and all Splatsin community for your tolerance and understanding and forgiveness towards us who were blind, but now can see,” Summers responded.
Cook explained that having so many others show up means a lot.
“Your show of support by understanding, wearing an orange shirt, showing up to support us means we are not alone in our grief. Your support is very healing,” Cook said.
Chief Wayne Christian remarked that death is about those left behind so it is important that we support the survivors, that we help them carry this unimaginable burden.
The Splatsin band has created care kits for residential school survivors and intergenerational survivors. Those who would like one can contact the Splatsin Health Centre at 250-838-9538.
• Splatsin Health Services Mental Wellness Team (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.): 1-250-838-9538
• KU-USS Crisis Line (24/7): 1-800-588-8717
• Indian Residential School Survivors Support Line (24/7): 1-866-925-4419