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Shipping community honours lives lost at Kamloops Residential School

June 1, 2021

Ships along the coast of B.C. sounding horns at 7:00 p.m. on June 1; Canada Place Sails of Light at the Port of Vancouver illuminated orange

Vancouver, B.C.: To honour the memory of the 215 children whose remains were found last week at a burial site on the ground of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School and remember the survivors, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and the Chamber of Shipping are coordinating ships all along the coast of British Columbia to sound their horns at 7:00 p.m. on June 1, 2021. In addition, the Canada Place Sails of Light at the Port of Vancouver will be illuminated in orange for the duration of the week and flags lowered to half-mast.

“Our thoughts are with the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community, survivors, and all Indigenous peoples as they face the painful news of such profound loss of life. This is a devastating reminder of the damage and lasting impacts of the residential school system and its legacy on Indigenous peoples” said Duncan Wilson, vice president environment, community and government affairs at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. “We stand with Indigenous peoples, individuals, families, and colleagues, and we continue to be dedicated to lasting reconciliation in Canada.”

“We grieve with our Indigenous neighbours over this horrific discovery,” said Robert Lewis-Manning, President, Chamber of Shipping. “On behalf of our members and the B.C. maritime community, we honour these children tonight with our ship horns and recognize that the path forward from this pain must include our shared commitment to reconciliation.”

The impact of this news is being felt throughout the marine shipping industry and port community, as it is more broadly across the country. As a port community, we recognize we must learn more about the lasting impacts of a system based on oppression and discrimination and are committed to continuing to work with Indigenous partners to further our learning and growth.

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