Photo of Kuper Island Residential School taken in the 1920s. A march on the holiday Monday’s morning will interrupt Pat Bay Highway traffic for about an hour as demonstrators plan to show their solidarity with Penelakut Island, after the discovery of unmarked graves at a former residential school site there. (B.C. Archives photo)

Photo of Kuper Island Residential School taken in the 1920s. A march on the holiday Monday’s morning will interrupt Pat Bay Highway traffic for about an hour as demonstrators plan to show their solidarity with Penelakut Island, after the discovery of unmarked graves at a former residential school site there. (B.C. Archives photo)

Pat Bay Highway march on Monday to honour residential school children, survivors

The solidarity march will block part of the highway until 10 a.m.

A solidarity march will occur in the morning on Monday, Aug. 2, interrupting Pat Bay Highway traffic for about an hour until approximately 10 a.m.

Demonstrators plan to show their solidarity with Penelakut Island and Penelakut Tribes after the discovery of unmarked graves at a former residential school site there.

Walk for the Children will see demonstrators make their way from the Tsawout First Nation band office to the intersection of Highway 17 and Mt. Newton Cross Road.

The march aims to honour the children who never made it home from the former Kuper Island Residential School and for those who did.

Earlier in July, Penelakut Tribe said it confirmed the discovery of more than 160 undocumented and unmarked graves on the grounds and foreshore of the former institution, which operated from 1890 to 1975 on Penelakut Island.

Indigenous children from Cowichan and other adjacent Coast Salish nations were forced to attend the school.

“We understand that many of our brothers and sisters from our neighbouring communities attended the Kuper Island Residential School. We also recognize with a tremendous amount of grief and loss, that too many did not return home,” Penelakut Chief Joan Brown said in the statement this month.

Penelakut is holding its own march on Aug. 2. A description for the local march said attendees will leave the Tsawout band office at 8:40 a.m. on Monday and anyone participating is asked to meet at the office at 8:30 a.m.

Central Saanich police are aware of the demonstration. They’ll have diversions set up on the Pat Bay Highway, closing it from Island View Road to McTavish Road during the march.

Police said drivers should include extra time in their travel plans.

READ: B.C. First Nation confirms more than 160 unmarked graves found on grounds near former residential school

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