Several people were injured after a man drove his truck into a small crowd marching to honour the victims and survivors of residential schools in B.C.
Video provided to CTV News by Robert Jago, who attended and documented Saturday’s March for Recognition for Residential Schools, shows people of all ages, many wearing orange shirts, chanting, drumming and waving flags that say ‘Every Child Matters.”
The march was set to end at the grounds of the former St. Mary’s Indian Residential School in Mission B.C. Two thousand children were taken from their families to that institution, which was operated by the Roman Catholic Church and later the federal government. It did not close until 1984. Twenty-one children are known to have died while attending the school, according to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
Troy Ingraldi was doing traffic control for the march and described what happened.
“The truck came speeding up, there was children in the right-hand lane. I wanted to make sure the children were fine so I stepped in front of the vehicle. He stopped, but then he continued to go and that’s when he ran me over,” he said.
The Mission RCMP have confirmed that two people were taken to the hospital with injuries and that the driver did not remain at the scene.
“One driver pushed his way up through the group, making contact with approximately four persons in the group, including the traffic control person and one of the organizers of the March,” a statement from the detachment says.
Mounties have not identified any suspects and have not made any arrests. They have, “thanks to numerous witnesses” been provided with the truck’s license plate, according to a media release.
Despite the investigation being in its early stages, the Mission RCMP have characterized the driver as “impatient” and said “there is no indication that this incident was targeted, or that the driver’s actions had anything specifically to do with the people marching or their cause.”
‘EXACTLY WHY WE MARCH’
March organizer Christopher Roberts is from the Sq’éwlets First Nation. He says what happened Saturday was is just another example showing that the work of truth and reconciliation remains incomplete in Canada.
“Stuff like what happened yesterday is exactly why we march,” he told CTV News.
“Before this very impatient gentleman decided that he was going to run over one of our brothers and hit four of us, there was people that drove really close to us through oncoming traffic that were screaming racial slurs. As upsetting as it is, we just carry on because this is why we do it. This is who we are. This is why we need the attention, why we need the recognition, we need the truth.”
He says the driver came dangerously close to where children and elders were marching and made no attempt to slow down.
“He stepped on the throttle and he started flying at us,” he said.
While police say no one was seriously injured, Robertson says Ingraldi suffered a concussion.
The response of the Mission RCMP was frustrating to Robertson, who says only one officer came to the scene and was unable to take statements from all of the witnesses. Further, he questions why the driver has not been arrested.
“There is actually quite a few very upset people. Especially because you know, this gentleman is still sitting at home,” he told CTV News.
“The really upsetting part is, you know if it was myself or any of our other brothers that were behind the wheel and doing this to anyone else, we’d already be in jail and had the book thrown at us.”
The Mission RCMP, in their media release, said they were a”gathering as much evidence as possible” in order to determine which charges to recommend.=
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The post ‘He ran me over’: Attendees of B.C. residential school memorial march hit by truck appeared first on WorldNewsEra.