Chief Greg Gabriel

Greg Gabriel is pictured in a 2020 file photo.

The following media release was sent Sept. 30, 2021.

After the discovery of the first 215 children’s graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School site, the Penticton Indian Band Chief and Council are unanimous in their decision that they will not be recognizing the September 30th Truth and Reconciliation Day.

They are in agreement and stand behind Chief Gabriel’s statement that is far too premature to announce or celebrate a day of Truth and Reconciliation. They agree that there has been no real substantive actions to date to show a genuine or sincere commitment for reconciliation.

For years we have heard the same statements and promises being made and yet everything remains status quo. We as a people have struggled and continue to suffer from the effects of colonialism forced on to us by the Catholic Church and the Government of Canada. We hope that all citizens look at ways to educate themselves on the true history of what we as a people continue to struggle with.

To be clear we don’t want to discourage any of our relatives, friends or communities from having events that recognize and honor those lives lost as a result of the residential school atrocity and those who wish to honor all survivors that have thrived and remain with us.

We encourage all to keep the message strong and loud, that “We are still Here” and “We will Never Forget.” Our message and reminder has to always remain strong. We encourage everyone to wear your orange shirts on September 30th.

Penticton Indian Band

Chief and Council

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