Hundreds of people gathered at Kelowna’s City Park Friday afternoon (June 4) to honour the lives of the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were discovered last week at the former grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)

Hundreds of people gathered at Kelowna’s City Park Friday afternoon (June 4) to honour the lives of the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were discovered last week at the former grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)

Syilx Nation members make emotional trip to Kamloops Residential School for Unity Run

‘It was healing for our people, healing for our survivors, and lifted the hearts of a Nation in mourning’

Syilx Nation members participating in the annual Spirit of Syilx Unity Run made an emotional journey to the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School (KIRS) on Saturday (June 5) to pay tribute to the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were recently discovered at an unmarked grave on the site.

Those who participated in-person event made the trip from nkm̓ apəlqs (Head of the Lake) to the KIRS on Tk’emlups te Secwepemc territory in just one day.

Chief Chris Derickson of the Westbank First Nation (WFN) said that watching the youth run for the 215 children was a historic event, describing it as a humbling and emotional experience.

“It was healing for our people, healing for our survivors, and lifted the hearts of a Nation in mourning,” said Derickson. “Witnessing this historic run and to be welcomed with song and ceremony by Tk’emlups te Secwepemc people is something we will all remember.”

Sylix Okanagan members were joined by leaders from multiple nations as they welcomed the runners as they made it over the hill at the KIRS, which included Chief Keith Crow of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band, Cheif Chris Derickson from the Syilx Okanagan Nation, kukpi Rosanne Casimir, councillor Marie Baptiste and councillor Jeanette Jules of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation and kukpi Judy Wilson from the Neskonlith Indian Band.

This year’s Syilx Unity Run began on June 2 and concluded on June 5. The annual event began in 2009 when Syilx youth requested a run to promote unity, as well as bring awareness to the issues of suicide and violence within the Syilx Okanagan Nation.

READ MORE: PHOTOS: Hundreds gather at Kelowna tribute in honour of Kamloops 215

READ MORE: PHOTOS: More than 100 gather to form Kelowna convoy for Kamloops 215


@aaron_hemens
aaron.hemens@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club in Oliver will golf from sunrise to sunset to raise funds for ALS on June 29. (Submitted)
Golfing from sunrise to sunset in Oliver for ALS

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club have taken up the challenge June 29

The Journey, an art exhibit by Pauline Hurley, was on display at the Summerland Ats Centre earlier this spring. Beginning June 15, the Summerland Community Arts Council will present Spark, a 10-week community arts challenge. (Summerland Review file photo)
Challenge to spark creativity among Summerland artists

Spark challenge will begin June 15 and will run 10 weeks

A storm watch has been issued for the Okanagan, Kootenays and Columbia regions of B.C. (Calvin Dickson photo)
Another severe thunderstorm watch issued for the Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for thunderstorms that may produce strong wind gusts, hail and heavy rain

The South Okanagan Tim Hortons raised over $4,000 through the three day orange doughnut promotion with 100 per cent of proceeds going to to the Residential School Survivors Society. The owner of these locations matched the amount. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
South Okanagan Tim Hortons raises over $8K for residential school survivors

More than $4,000 worth of doughnuts were purchased over three days

Bentley resting on a bench at Kal Park in Vernon not knowing there is a baby rattlesnake curled up below. Bentley jumped down and was bit by the snake. (Facebook)
Dog bit by baby rattler at popular Vernon park

The rattlesnake was hidden underneath a park bench when it struck out

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop live horse export

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)
Controversial Vernon goose cull won’t fly this year

Necessary permit procedures held up at a federal level

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News file)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating suspicious death after body found in truck

Police responded to a truck parked out front of a Main Street business where the body was found

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Jann Arden will embark on Canada-wide tour Spring 2022 with a stop in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre on June 13. (Contributed)
Jann Arden schedules Okanagan stop on 2022 Canada-wide tour

The Jann Arden Live! tour has been rescheduled for 2022

Most Read