Al Siebring photo _edited.jpg

Mount Tzouhalem cross painted again, an apparent reference to residential schools

And so it continues.

The cross atop Mount Tzouhalem has mysteriously been painted again, this time an apparent reference to Indigenous children and residential schools.

The cross and its foundation have been spray-painted orange, with the number 215 painted on the rocks nearby. That’s the number of unmarked graves that were reported in May 2021 to have been discovered at the former Kamloops residential school.

(The number of potential burial sites was later estimated to be about 200).

Al Siebring photo _edited.jpg

In July 2021, the long-standing white metal cross at Mount Tzouhalem was removed without permission from the Nature Conservancy of Canada property.

News outlets in February 2022 reported a new cross had been erected at the site, also without permission.

Soon thereafter, sixmountains.ca reported that the cross had been painted rainbow colours — a potential reference to sexual and gender diversity.

According to Wikipedia: “The rainbow flag is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer pride.…” The colours reflect the diversity of the community and the “spectrum of human sexuality gender.”

Some of the rainbow colours are still visible above the new orange paint.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2016) identified at least 3,200 student deaths at residential schools across Canada. Tuberculosis was cited as the leading cause, followed by influenza and pneumonia. In many cases, the cause was not identified.

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— Larry Pynn, March 29/2022

Al Siebring photo _edited.jpg

Al Siebring photo _edited.jpg