KAMLOOPS — The City of Kamloops and Tk’emlups te Secwepemc are two distinct communities that co-exist within a shared city space, which means there are a number of opportunities for cooperation between the groups.
Monday, one of those opportunities came to fruition, as the City and members of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc council came together to sign an agreement meant to bring the two communities closer.
With a pair of signatures and a handshake, a deal many years in the making was finalized. The City of Kamloops and Tk’emlups te Secwepemc have an agreement in place for the city to provide transit services to the TTeS reserve beginning September 4th.
“I’m so excited for community members and really excited for businesses on the reserve,” Candido told CFJC Today. “This is the last connection so that the city is truly whole. This means so much to membership.”
Community leaders from both Tk’emlups te Secwepemc and the city agree the expansion of the transit service will open up new opportunities for residents on both sides of the river.
“One way to another they need to cross that bridge,” TTeS Councillor Eagle Casimir explained. “[They’re] trying to find ways to get to get to work or a doctors appointment. I think we’re going to be able to provide a lot of that service to people that are having mobility issues, and I think it’ll benefit the people in Sun Rivers, also.”
Mayor Ken Christian echoed Casimir’s sentiments.
“We see this will improve our economy, as well as access to facilities on the City of Kamloops side,” Christian said. “Certainly… members of the band will benefit from this, but also Sun Rivers community, particularly the Talasa development, those people that live there that access TRU.”
According to Candido, this agreement could have a transformative effect on both the TTeS community itself, as well as for many of those who live within in it.
“It’s a big part of the infrastructure,” Candid explained. “So it’s leading to more sidewalks, and it’s leading to being able to increase education rights… because it’s not a challenge anymore to get to TRU. It’s also independence for families.”
Both sides still have to work out some of the details with representatives from BC Transit, such as exact routes and stop locations, before the first trip is made on September 4th.
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