Youth from the Okanagan Nation took part in the Spirit of Syilx Unity Run along Highway 97, ending at the Penticton Indian Band’s monument for residential school survivors. (Shayla Allison photo)

Youth from the Okanagan Nation took part in the Spirit of Syilx Unity Run along Highway 97, ending at the Penticton Indian Band’s monument for residential school survivors. (Shayla Allison photo)

Spirit of Syilx Unity Run makes its way to Penticton

The 3-day run from Kamloops residential school is to honour the children and for suicide prevention

The annual Spirit of Syilx Unity Run, which started at the Kamloops Indian Residential School is making its way to the Penticton Indian Band monument for survivors of the residential school system on Sunday afternoon.

A contingent of RCMP vehicles with their lights on are protecting the runners heading south along Highway 97, making their way from Peachland, Summerland and now to Penticton around 3:30 p.m.

Several youth and adults can be seen running along side the highway and have been part of the three-day journey that had stops in Pritchard, Chase, Falkland, Kelowna, and Peachland, to name a few.

It was Syilx youth that first started the movement in 2008, which now hosts hundreds of runners each year.

Mom Kelaya Allison Squakin with her three-year-old son Steele Allison-Nicholas take part in the Spirit of Syilx Unity Run, which started at the Kamloops Indian Residential School is making its way to the Penticton Indian Band reserve Sunday afternoon. (Shayla Allison photo)

Mom Kelaya Allison Squakin with her three-year-old son Steele Allison-Nicholas take part in the Spirit of Syilx Unity Run, which started at the Kamloops Indian Residential School is making its way to the Penticton Indian Band reserve Sunday afternoon. (Shayla Allison photo)

“The Unity Run is one of the most impactful approaches the Nation has to addressing these issues collectively, used to raise awareness and education with all youth members, citizens and the public on issues of suicide and violence that continues to confront Syilx communities.”

They are running in-person from June 3 to 5 from the Kamloops Residential School to the Penticton Okanagan Nation Residential School Survivor Memorial monument where the run will end. The monument’s name is Bringing Our Children Home. This year is to trace the journey that the ancestors made and to honour the children.

If you would like to make a donation to this important cause or find out more about the Unity Run, click here.

READ MORE: Run for Raising awareness about violence and suicide in Okanagan Nation Alliance

READ MORE: Hundreds join walk to recognize Truth and Reconciliation in Penticton

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