June 3rd 2021
For immediate release
Members of the Grassy Narrows First Nation have decided to honour those 215 children discovered at the site of a residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia.
Terry Bunting, who is originally from Wabauskang First Nation, but has lived in Grassy Narrows decided to walk from Grassy Narrows to the McIntosh Residential School, in order to pay honour and respect to these children.
In speaking to Terry, he shared the following message, about the importance of this walk and what it means to him.
“I think there is more to this, and more behind all this with all the residential schools across Canada, we need to look more. We need to look in our waters, we need to look on our land, we need to look everywhere and bring our youth home that never got to come home”, said Bunting. “The voices that were never heard, those are the voices I am walking for today, they were just little kids and that is why I am doing this walk, it’s for my people. It is okay to rise up, and rise up for our people.”
Terry began his walk yesterday, and will complete the 241 kilometer walk to the residential school site. “Many people have been affected by the tragedy that has unfolded in one area coming from Kamloops BC in the finding of the 215 residential school kids that were buried in a mass grave. The residential school victims have suffered in so many ways and the 215 kids that were found proves the atrocities have gone way beyond criminal activity. It’s unimaginable,” added Chief Randy Fobister of Grassy Narrows First Nation. “Our people today have done so much to help with the healing process. It’s great trauma just to hear what has and had taken place. It’s a tsunami of emotions.”
Members of the community have also decided to show their support, with Lexx Paul, who is 15 years old lighting a sacred fire to keep burning in the community.
“The reason why I started the fire is I was thinking about these kids, and I just wanted to show my people and show my youth,” said Paul. “I felt the sacred fire in my heart for those kids, and I felt bad for those families of the kids who didn’t make it home, and I just wanted to keep the fire going for days to put the support out there.”
There are multiple sites and events happening within the Kenora region if you would like to show your support for this cause.
KCA and the 9 First Nations we serve support Terry Bunting, Lexx Paul and all those who are honouring this travesty. We encourage everyone to continue to educate yourselves on the ongoing legacy of Residential Schools
For media inquiries, please contact:
Senior Executive Assistant and Communications Lead, Kenora Chiefs Advisory