Orange signs around town ask for accountability


Steven McCoy is an active member of Garden River First Nation community, and the creator of Gencity Consulting.

Steven McCoy felt a call to action when the memorial began at the steps of Shingwauk Hall in remembrance of the 215 children discovered in a mass grave at the residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia.

“I went down to [Shingwauk], and I was just gonna put down my shoes and pay my respects and offerings, and then just leave and you know, and I did leave, but I couldn’t really go anywhere. I couldn’t concentrate on anything else, I just felt like I wanted to be back at the site,”  McCoy explains.

“So I ended up going back there and spending the rest of my day there. And the next few days there. And then when I was there, I happened to meet the organizers, young ladies who had actually started this initiative,” McCoy shares how meeting the organizers of the memorial at the steps of Shingwauk, Celeste Maurer, and Jasmine Syrette, really made them think about what should be next.

“It was through their conversations with other people that they’re talking, we should get signs next and put them up around town and the churches and stuff. And I was like, that’s actually a great idea. And a part of my business is doing marketing and promotions, and signage, billboards,” McCoy shares.

The next few days, McCoy, Maurer and Syrette all worked to distribute the orange lawn signs that read: “#Accountability, #genocide, #215.”

“I put a few up in my yard, and we went around town to some of the main churches that we feel should be responsible, and should be being held accountable for what happened here. So we want to get that message out.”

Many people expressed their support and wanted to contribute, and they received many messages requesting more signs.

If you wish to show your support, please consider donating to the Go-Fund-Me to continue the distribution of signs.

McCoy explains what he thinks accountability should look like, “we’re not going to just accept thoughts and prayers and half mast flags as an acceptable apology or anything like that moving forward.  We want real action. And the real action comes in the form of holding the people that are responsible for this, accountable.”

“There is no statute of limitations when it comes to crimes against humanity. This is what it is.  215 kids in an unmarked grave, that’s genocide. There’s no other way around it. There’s no way Canada can whitewash it anymore. They’ve tried for the entirety of history. And you can’t deny it now. You can’t deny the mass unmarked grave of innocent kids.”

“Accountability is going to be bringing people to justice. That’s what that looks like to me.  [It] is the churches will need to be held responsible for this. They have the records of how many kids were killed under their care. They also have the records of the perpetrators who carried out these crimes. Along with them, the RCMP and the government, they’re all responsible for this. And they can no longer hide from this.”

If you wish to show your support, you can contact Steven McCoy at: [email protected], or by phone at 705-257-1809.


  1. I agree. They use the word “genocide” but how do they know these individuals didn’t die from a pandemic like we are going through now. Back then, they only had a fraction of the technology and medicine that we have today. Back then, people died from what we know as the common cold. They make it sound like residential schools provided nothing positive to these children. How about education, shelter, food. Yes, the way the government handled this back in the 1800 and early 1900’s was wrong but I’m sure the intentions weren’t all bad. No matter what subject we talk about in todays “politically correct” world, we can make it sound like an absolute genocide or a life saving experience. Its all in how we perceive and interpret the information at hand. Instead of working against each other, if we work together and get to the truth, no matter how much it hurts, the future will be a better place.

    • It’s tragic that an inordinate number of children died, of course, yet you’ll notice that the media is continually glossing over the fact that there were also many other non-indigenous people including many workers that had also died. There were many high deaths documented to due the spanish flu, smallpox, etc. Before a label of genocide (although it’s trendy to do so) is applied there needs to be an investigation.
      Regardless a number of people need to be help accountable, from the government (including the queen), the church the tribal leadership and elders. There’s plenty of blame to share and too much finger pointing.
      Investigate thoroughly first (a forensic investigation and not a political one) to determine next steps.

  2. Many people are getting carried away here. There must be further detailed forensic investigation before anyone can jump to the conclusions that they have already.

      • I see you’re taking a page from Trudeau’s book.
        Ask a logical question? RACIST!
        Don’t fall immediately in line? BIGOT!
        After the past couple of years I’m starting to understand how a certain fascist leader in Europe gained power over people so quickly.

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