Kúkpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, have issued a joint statement after Rankin was invited to visit the public memorial at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School:
“Yesterday, we met at Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc to pay respect to le estcwéý (the missing), their families and intergenerational survivors of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
“It is vital to stand as leaders, firm in our resolve to bring respect to where there has been indignity, comfort where there has been pain and closure where there has been generations of harm.
“Minister Rankin expressed his gratitude to Kúkpi7 Casimir and the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community for welcoming him to Secwepemcúlecw (territory) to honour the missing children in person and to formally recognize the unwavering leadership of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc. He offered his deepest sympathy to the families whose loved ones never came home.
“We have much work to do together as the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc leads the way forward on the difficult and urgent task of truth-seeking, justice and healing. Together with federal partners, we will strive to ensure we truly honour the spirits of le estcwéý.
“This is a time of national reckoning. The rest of the country is coming to terms with what the survivors of residential schools have always known. We are determined to make things right, support healing, and find the complete truth about the cruelty and injustice of the Indian Residential School system.”