More than 215 transport trucks, pick-up trucks and cars from various municipalities in BC, including Merritt, Williams Lake and Kelowna, drove past Tk’emlups land in solidarity of the discovery of the 215 children whose graves were found last week at a residential school.
First Nation representatives from northern B.C. and Alberta were in attendance.
Footage can be seen in the video below:
Mike Otto, a Kelowna-based independent truck driver who organized the event, said that nearly 400 trucks in total were participating.
“This idea came up on Monday, after seeing the news about the Kamloops tragedy. I put the word out and within a matter of hours, we had a tremendous response,” said Otto. “I don’t know how many people emailed, called and texted. It’s just incredible.”
At the convoy start point, truckers wrote messages of support on their trucks, including “Every Child Matters."
“This all started with one post on Facebook. It just spread. It’s unbelievable, the amount of people and support we’re getting here today,” he said. “We can’t sweep this under the rug anymore — something needs to be done. We need to call our government into action. Cut through all the red tape, make sure we hold the people that did this responsible, answer for their mistakes,” he said.
Otto plans to host the convoy event every year during the first week of June.
“It’s just a horrific, horrific thing that has been done for many years to Indigenous people. I’m hoping today — by the looks of it — we’re going to get that point across,” he said.
One representative from the Metis Nation of British Columbia also shared a 30 minute clip on his page.
"Just after [it] finished, it rained hard here for about 15 minutes. Tears from our pain and sorrow," the representative aptly commented. There has been an outpouring of support for indigenous communities all over social media.