June 9, 2021
-by April MacDonald
“This is just the beginning of a long journey ahead of us,” said band councillor and father, Stephen Googoo.
After the disturbing and horrific discovery of 215 children from a Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia, We’koqma’q First Nation held a powerful ceremony for the children and for the families affected by the confirmation of what Residential School survivors knew all along.
Community members from We’koqma’q surrounded Residential School survivors in the shape of a heart and said, “Never again.”
“This not only opens many eyes across this nation, but opens up old wounds for our Residential School survivors,” said band councillor and father, Stephen Michael Googoo.
“I ask, please be mindful around our survivors who have suffered enough,” he added.
He said that he had the opportunity to speak with a couple of their own at this ceremony and that he saw first-hand their pain and that their suffering also resonated into his spirit.
“I’m deeply hurt, words can’t describe how I feel. I believe Canada has some answering and inquiring to do. It’s time to check all sites and give our families the true closure they’ve been needing,” he explained.
Councillor Googoo said that if you are interested to providing an offering, that their site is located at the We’koqma’q Residential School Monument outside of their school.
“I ask the creator to give our survivors, families, and children the strength to be strong, courage to stand up, and love for the healing,” said Googoo.
He also thanked their local survivors for coming out, for the songs, for bringing them together, and those who brought the offerings.
Please read Googoo’s powerful open letter to Canadians on The Oran’s Editorial page.
On Tuesday, the Strait Regional Centre for Education also held a Virtual Healing Circle. The online event was held on June 8th at 8:00 p.m. to honour and remember the 215 children who never returned home from the Kamloops Residential School.
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