The former Kamloops Indian Residential School is seen on Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation in Kamloops, B.C. on Thursday, May 27, 2021. ( THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Snucins)

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School is seen on Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation in Kamloops, B.C. on Thursday, May 27, 2021. ( THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Snucins)

B.C. trucker organizing convoy to site of former Kamloops residential school

‘These families need closure, their voices need to be heard, we need to show support,”: Mike Otto

Kelowna-area trucker Mike Otto did not expect such a huge response when he put out feelers to organize a convoy to the site of the former Kamloops Residential School at Tk’emlups te Secwépemc to show solidarity for First Nations.

“The intent is to get the message out that these families need closure, their voices need to be heard and we are there to support them,” he told Black Press Media Wednesday afternoon, confirming convoys will depart from Williams Lake and Merritt as well as Kelowna. It will take place on Saturday, June 5.

After hearing about the 215 children’s bodies buried at the site, he decided wanted to do something.

He mulled it over all weekend and put a note on some Facebook pages to see if there was any interest.

Initially it was supposed to be only trucks, but it’s turned out to be more.

“It’s really massive now. I put it out on Monday and I did not expect it to take off like it has. It’s unbelievable. I’ve also heard from Alberta and Ontario.”’

Read more: Remains of 215 Indigenous children found buried at former Kamloops residential school

A father himself, Otto said he felt complete and utter sadness when he heard about the burial site.

“I cannot imagine what families went through to have their children taken away with no choice. A few times it has brought tears to my eyes.”

Williams Lake First Nation Chief Willie Sellars said the convoy is a great idea.

“A very important part of the healing process is people coming together,” he said.

The convoys will depart from Kelowna at the Chevron Card-Lock at 8 a.m., in Merritt at 9:30 a.m. from the Esso and Denny’s Restaurant and from the 150 Mile House Gas Station at 7:30 a.m.

They will converge at the site at 11:30 a.m.

Accompanying Otto on Saturday will be a friend whose family members attended the Kamloops residential school.

“We’ve been in contact with Kamloops Indian Band and I just got off the phone with someone who will be directing traffic to make sure everyone is safe,” he said.

When the convoy arrives there will be a drum circle at the site and some First Nations elders in attendance, he added.

There is either going to be a drive-thru or some people parking in the pow wow circle, it hasn’t been fully confirmed.

“I know the city of Kamloops is never going to believe this for sure,” he added.

Anyone with questions can call or text Otto at 250-878-5093 or message him through his Facebook page.

“I hope something good comes out of this,” he added.

Read more: Williams Lake city councillor calls on city to help advance truth and reconciliation



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

First NationsTruth and Reconciliation Commission

Just Posted

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

(Big White Ski Resort/Contributed)
Big White’s big clean-up: Large turnout for post-melt mountain tidy

More than 165 people showed up to help gather the litter left behind from the winter season

Mounties cover a burgundy truck with a tent at Buckerfields in West Kelowna on Monday, June 14. The RCMP is investigating after a woman’s body was found inside the truck. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
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

(Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Delays expected on Lakeshore Road this week

Northbound traffic on Lakeshore between Richter and Barrera will be detoured for paving

David Larsen, left, and co-host Tony Peyton. (K96.3/Twitter)
Popular Kelowna radio host dies after battle with cancer

David Larsen was half of the longtime Kelowna morning-show duo David and Tony

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

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

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

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

Most Read