When tourists explore Kamloops they’ll now see a new provincial sign outside what once was the local residential school.
The transportation ministry unveiled the latest Stop of Interest sign, along with the Tkemlups te Secwepemc First Nation, on Friday.
The signs, first launched in 1958, have been placed in 19 locations across the province since the government made a callout for nominations in 2016. The signs share stories of the people, places and events that helped shape B.C.’s history.
The Kamloops Indian Residential School is no exception. Established in 1893 until it was closed in 1977, thousands of Secwepemc children between the ages of four and 15 were forcibly taken from their families and prohibited from practicing their language, culture and traditions and many faced abuse.
“This was a dark time in our province’s history,” Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said in a news release. “Although markers like these can be painful reminders of historical wrongs, they also provide an opportunity to recognize past mistakes and educate future generations.
“It is important that we acknowledge the existence of the Kamloops Indian Residential School and the tragic impact it has had, and continues to have, on the Secwepémc people.”
Chief Rosanna Casimir said the sign honours those still impacted by the residential schools, including survivors and their families.