It must feel as though the fury of hell has come to southern British Columbia, where scorching temperatures have broken records and giant fires have engulfed First Nations communities and cities already dealing with the devastating discovery of the remains of ancestors of those in the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc First Nation.
The open mourning, the coming together and the steps toward healing among the Tk’emlúpsemc – “the people of the confluence” of the North and South Thompson Rivers – is happening as smoke from the smouldering First Nations community of Lytton, just hours down the highway, blows into Kamloops.
And all this comes as the burning of Catholic churches continues, and statues of Sir John A. Macdonald, Egerton Ryerson and Queen Victoria fall across the country like dominoes.
It is almost as if a great reckoning is taking place – one that has simmered below the surface since Confederation. Finding those little souls in Kamloops has touched off the discovery of so many more, including 751 unmarked graves near Saskatchewan’s former Marieval Indian Residential School, and nine-year-old Emma Laffort somewhere in Thunder Bay’s St. Andrew’s Catholic Cemetery. Our children are crying out to be found so that their spirits can be brought home and rest.