Vernon mayor shares grief over tragic Kamloops residential school discovery

Words cannot express grief

The mayor of Vernon has shared his grief in a personal letter to Okanagan Indian Band Chief Byron Louis in reaction to the shocking discovery of 215 First Nation children's bodies at the site of the former residential school in Kamloops.

"There are no words to fully express the collective grief shared in the wake of Tk ?emlúps te Secwépemc Nation's confirmation of 215 children buried on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School," Mayor Victor Cumming wrote.

"Once again, we have come face to face with the reality and impacts of Canada's residential school system. We see the pain it has caused and continues to cause today.

"We mourn with the Tk ?emlúps te Secwépemc Nation as it acts as caretakers to these souls, as well as with Syilx People of the Okanagan Nation, the Okanagan Indian Band, and surrounding communities."

Cumming called for a moment of silence in memoriam of the children at the beginning of Monday's Vernon city council meeting.

"The City of Vernon acknowledges the ongoing grief and pain of all the victims, survivors, families and friends left devastated by Canada's residential school system including those who live here amongst us.

"Our thoughts are with you," Cumming concluded.

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