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

Shuswap Immigrant Services Society plans to hold a vigil on Friday, June 25 at 8 p.m. to honour the victims of what officials are calling a terrorist attack on five Muslims in London, Ont. (File photo)
Salmon Arm council holds minute of silence to honour victims of Ontario attack

Shuswap Immigrant Services Society plans vigil for Muslim family on June 25, 8 p.m. at McGuire Lake

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Goosebumps helped scare off predators

Your morning start for Tuesday, June 15, 2021

A first-dose mobile vaccination clinic is being held on Tuesday, June 15 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Salmon Arm fairgrounds, west entrance across from spray park. (Interior Health image)
Location for Salmon Arm’s June 15 COVID-19 mobile vaccine clinic changes slightly

Immunization clinic still at fairgrounds but people attending asked to use different entrance

Felix Haase and Jayme Saretzky staff a pop-up booth to support the Salmon Arm Pride Project on the patio of the newly reopened Wild Craft Mercantile at 121 Shuswap St. on Saturday, June 12, 2021. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Wild Craft Mercantile in Salmon Arm holds grand reopening, celebrates Pride month

Store moves from Lakeshore to Shuswap, demonstrates support for Pride project

A City of Salmon Arm vacuum truck cleans out the city storm drain on Hudson Avenue in Salmon Arm Monday morning, June 14 after a crane truck blew a hydraulic line, spewing oil onto the road. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Fire trucks called to small oil spill in Salmon Arm

Traffic delayed on Hudson Avenue Monday morning after crane truck blows hydraulic line

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Most Read