PHOTOS: More than 100 gather to form Kelowna convoy for Kamloops 215

Crystal Gabriel writes a message that reads “Every child matters 215” on a truck at Kelowna’s Chevron Commercial Cardlock on Saturday morning (June 5). One of three convoys was formed here, with all eventually heading towards the site of the former Kamloops Residential School that same day. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)Crystal Gabriel writes a message that reads “Every child matters 215” on a truck at Kelowna’s Chevron Commercial Cardlock on Saturday morning (June 5). One of three convoys was formed here, with all eventually heading towards the site of the former Kamloops Residential School that same day. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Orange hand prints cover a car at Kelowna’s Chevron Commercial Cardlock on Saturday morning (June 5). One of three convoys was formed here, with all eventually heading towards the site of the former Kamloops Residential School that same day. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)Orange hand prints cover a car at Kelowna’s Chevron Commercial Cardlock on Saturday morning (June 5). One of three convoys was formed here, with all eventually heading towards the site of the former Kamloops Residential School that same day. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Children’s shoes line the dashboard of a truck at Kelowna’s Chevron Commercial Cardlock on Saturday morning (June 5). One of three convoys was formed here, with all eventually heading towards the site of the former Kamloops Residential School that same day. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)Children’s shoes line the dashboard of a truck at Kelowna’s Chevron Commercial Cardlock on Saturday morning (June 5). One of three convoys was formed here, with all eventually heading towards the site of the former Kamloops Residential School that same day. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
A trucker gets creative with their message at Kelowna’s Chevron Commercial Cardlock on Saturday morning (June 5). One of three convoys was formed here, with all eventually heading towards the site of the former Kamloops Residential School that same day. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)A trucker gets creative with their message at Kelowna’s Chevron Commercial Cardlock on Saturday morning (June 5). One of three convoys was formed here, with all eventually heading towards the site of the former Kamloops Residential School that same day. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
“Every child matters” could be found on many of the trucks at Kelowna’s Chevron Commercial Cardlock on Saturday morning (June 5). One of three convoys was formed here, with all eventually heading towards the site of the former Kamloops Residential School that same day. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)“Every child matters” could be found on many of the trucks at Kelowna’s Chevron Commercial Cardlock on Saturday morning (June 5). One of three convoys was formed here, with all eventually heading towards the site of the former Kamloops Residential School that same day. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
A truck with a heart is stationed at Kelowna’s Chevron Commercial Cardlock on Saturday morning (June 5). One of three convoys was formed here, with all eventually heading towards the site of the former Kamloops Residential School that same day. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)A truck with a heart is stationed at Kelowna’s Chevron Commercial Cardlock on Saturday morning (June 5). One of three convoys was formed here, with all eventually heading towards the site of the former Kamloops Residential School that same day. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Orange hand prints cover the back of a truck at Kelowna’s Chevron Commercial Cardlock on Saturday morning (June 5). One of three convoys was formed here, with all eventually heading towards the site of the former Kamloops Residential School that same day. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)Orange hand prints cover the back of a truck at Kelowna’s Chevron Commercial Cardlock on Saturday morning (June 5). One of three convoys was formed here, with all eventually heading towards the site of the former Kamloops Residential School that same day. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
A man records trucks as they pull out of Kelowna’s Chevron Commercial Cardlock on Saturday morning (June 5). One of three convoys was formed here, with all eventually heading towards the site of the former Kamloops Residential School that same day. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)A man records trucks as they pull out of Kelowna’s Chevron Commercial Cardlock on Saturday morning (June 5). One of three convoys was formed here, with all eventually heading towards the site of the former Kamloops Residential School that same day. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)

More than 100 people gathered at Kelowna’s Chevron Commercial Cardlock Saturday morning (June 5) to form one of three convoys that eventually headed towards the site of the former Kamloops Residential School.

The event was a display of solidarity for the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were recently discovered in an unmarked grave at that very site.

Mike Otto, a Kelowna-based independent truck driver and the head organizer for the We Stand for Solidarity Convoy 215+ group, said that nearly 400 trucks in total were participating in the event, with other convoys launching from Merrit and Williams Lake that same morning.

“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 site of the Kelowna convoy start point, drivers wrote a variety of messages on their trucks, such as “Every Child Matters,” while some left children’s shoes on their dashboards and others covered their vehicles with orange handprints.

The Vernon School District deployed four busses at the launch of the Kelowna start point, while Central Okanagan School District issued one.

Otto said that he wasn’t expecting this response when he first shared the idea online.

“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.

He added that he was compelled to organize the event to help give Indigenous people a voice and to raise awareness about the residential school system.

“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.

Going forward, he said that the plan is 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.

READ MORE: B.C. trucker organizing convoy to site of former Kamloops residential school

READ MORE: PHOTOS: Hundreds gather at Kelowna tribute in honour of Kamloops 215


@aaron_hemens
aaron.hemens@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

A promotional image for The Wharf Sessions album. (Salmon Arm Arts Centre image)
The Wharf Sessions album pays tribute to Salmon Arm’s long-running concert series

Salmon Arm Arts Centre wanted to give recording opportunity to artists in a tough year

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

The Shuswap’s new advocate for the prevention of human-wildlife conflict, Julia Helland, pictured in her WildSafeBC shirt. (Contributed)
Go wild for animal safety this summer in the Shuswap

New WildSafeBC coordinator for Columbia Shuswap to help prevent human-wildlife conflict

A concept rendering of the proposed seven-unit, two-storey development at 1129 Riverside Ave. in Sicamous. (District of Sicamous graphic)
Proposed luxury development in Sicamous sparks parking concerns

Seven-unit commercial-residential building planned for Riverside Avenue

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Most Read