The incident happened June 4 as dozens of people marched down Lougheed Road near the former St. Mary’s Indian Residential School.
Witnesses said the driver of a blue Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck made racist comments and outright threats before driving into at least four people. They added that the driver then fled the scene.
One of those affected suffered a concussion and injuries to his hip. Another was taken to hospital.
In a statement released in the days following the incident, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said the impatient driver was trying to get around the group despite the risks. The statement also noted that the officers did not believe the driver was targeting the attendees or their cause, and while they did not speak to him.
This description of the facts was condemned by the participants of the memorial march and by community leaders. It was subsequently removed from the website of the RCMP.
St. Mary’s Congregation operated two Native residential schools in the Mission area for more than a century before closing in 1984.
The June 4 Memorial March in Mission was organized by the group Crazy Indians Brotherhood after the discovery of possible unidentified graves on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in May 2021. This discovery sparked a national awareness of the tragic events that took place in residential schools for Indians in Canada.
Participants in the march demanded that the grounds of St. Mary’s Residential School be searched using penetrating radar to determine the presence of possible unidentified graves.
Richard Albert Manuel is due to appear in court on January 9, 2023.
If you need help
A call center to help former Indian Residential School Survivors and those affected has been established by the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. Support services are available 24/7 by calling 1-866-925-4419.
Support services are also available in English and French from Kids Help Phone for people aged 5 to 20. Dial 1-800 668-6868 or by texting 686868.