Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc
May 26, 2022
On Monday May 23, 2022, Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc held a memorial commemorating the anniversary of the confirmation of the finding of Le Estcwicwéy̓ (The Missing) near the Kamloops Indian Residential School.
“For those that may not be aware, it is Secwépemc cultural protocol to observe a one-year mourning period after the loss of family. This is how we see Le Estcwicwéý, as our family; a family that we have a responsibility to care for,” Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir stated.
“It is for that reason, that I was extremely disappointed that attendees of the Memorial were shouting rude remarks and insulting the organizers and guests that had been invited to our community to join us in honouring, upholding, and respecting Le Estcwicwéy̓. Our cultural protocols are sacred and have been in place for thousands of years. These values are based in natural law and cannot be unwritten nor changed by any person or group of people. They dictate that we always hold guests in high regard. In natural law, this is “xyemstwécw”, honouring one another. It is always our intention to create a welcoming and safe environment.”
“The behaviour of a few, disrespected the honour of the day and the Elders, survivors and children that were present. We do not condone the disruptive behaviour. We understand that the day was triggering for some, which is why cultural and mental health supports were available. We also want to thank all of those that followed our cultural protocols and showed their respect”
Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir stated that for future events, all participants will be required to respect our protocols, or they will be asked to leave.
“I would like to say Kukwstép-kucw (on behalf of all of us, we thank you all) for all the people that attended the Memorial of Le Estcwicwéy̓. Your support was greatly appreciated.”
“We also want to acknowledge all those that are working with us to take steps towards healing and reconciliation.”