PRESS RELEASE – Tḱemlúps te Secwépemc, June 7, 2022
On behalf of the Tḱemlúps te Secwépemc, we are very pleased to learn of the appointment and mandate of Kimberly Murray to the position of Special Interlocutor for Canada, in relation to unmarked burials. Since we learned of the likely presence of children, L’Estcwicwéý (the Missing) on the Kamloops Indian Residential School grounds, just over a year ago, Tḱemlúps has taken responsibility for them. We are exercising our inherent jurisdiction over the investigation at Tḱemlúps, to determine how many children are there, who they were, who their people are, how they came to be buried there, how they should be cared for, and what justice needs to be sought on behalf of them and their families. We have heard from Minister Lametti, on behalf of Canada, that Canada respects our jurisdiction and is there to provide whatever support it can to ensure that we can meet our obligations to L’Estcwicwéý and their people. The mandate of the Special Interlocutor confirms this.
So many Indigenous communities across Canada are launching similar investigations. It will be painstaking, vitally important work, work that will take time and resources. Canada has an essential role to play in ensuring those resources are available, and that all our communities can find their lost children, and comfort them and their families. The Special Interlocutor will, we hope, work with all our communities to make this happen.
Ms. Murray comes to this role with a wealth of experience and a demonstrated commitment to serving residential school survivors and their families. We look forward to working with Canada, the Special Interlocutor, and our brothers and sisters across the country, as we work for the children, and their relations, to achieve some measure of comfort and justice for them.
Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir (Chief)
Tḱemlúps te Secwépemc