The discovery of the mass grave containing the remains of 215 children on the grounds of the old Kamloops Residential School hit close to home. Kamloops is somewhere I have called home and where my family is. My nieces and nephews are the same age as some of those children who were stolen from their families and put into residential schools across Canada. If you are not aware of the residential school program (and now foster care programs) which affect Indigenous communities in Canada, I implore you to take some time and research to become more aware. There are some links below to get you started if you are interested to learn more.
Kamloops photographer Dillon Tweedie (@fearandloathingin35mm) reached out wanting to collaborate with us to help in some way. He has graciously offered 3 photos which we will make available on our website to purchase 8"x10" prints of over the coming days to raise funds to support Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc First Nation. @downtowncamera has generously agreed to support this fundraiser, they will be printing and delivering all prints that are ordered. All proceeds from the prints will be donated directly to the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc First Nation in Kamloops to be used to further the investigation into the mass grave(s) and ultimately build a memorial for these children who were robbed of their opportunity to become leaders, elders, parents, and proud community members. This isn’t the dark past of Canada; this is the heritage of which Canada is founded on; a heritage many of us have not been exposed to. Now more than ever we need to band together and show support for each other and prove that the people of today are better than the architects of old who built this country on the backs and blood of Indigenous and PoC communities. We are better together.
The first print will be available to order on June 16th, the second on June 18th and the third on June 20th. Stay tuned to our feed to check them out. Ordering will remain open for a couple of weeks and then we will close the fundraiser and Downtown Camera will get to work on sending prints out. Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your support.
p.s. if you would like to make your own donation to Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc First Nation they are accepting e-transfers at firstname.lastname@example.org
p.p.s. the photo above is a Polaroid of Kamloops from a few years back on expired Polaroid 600 film.