Breaking the ‘code of silence’

Kwah Hall was filled with people and a somber air on Saturday, February 25.

Fribjon Bjornson’s family

By Jonas Gagnon

Caledonia Courier

Kwah Hall was filled with people and a somber air on Saturday, February 25.

“We were overwhelmed by the turnout,” said Eileen Bjornson, Fribjon Bjornson’s mother.

People from all over the province, as far south as Vancouver according to Bjornson, crowded the hall, leaving people to stand at the back.

“Turnout was higher then expected,” said Reuban Blackwater, Nak’azdli band manager.

At the hall there was a short speech by Fribjon’s parents, a slideshow in memory of Fribjon and a speech by the family of Perry Sebastian, who is currently missing.

About 600 people attended, according to Bjornson. The line of people on the walk nearly stretched from the Kwah Hall to the march’s destination. As the line of people turned the corner at the historic site the tail end of the march was still moving across the highway from Kwah Hall, causing a small backup on the highway.

“We had to block traffic temporarily,” said Blackwater.

The walk ended at the Lower Rd. house where Fribjon Bjornson’s body was found. There Fribjon’s family ‘washed’ themselves in the smoke of a small smudge, which was followed by a cleansing of the house with the same smudge, a Carrier tradition meant to help Fribjon’s spirit leave the house. During the ceremony Nak’azdli drummers played and sang.

But it was more than just British Columbians affected by Bjornson’s desire to speak out against violence. In an age of digital communication the desire to speak out against violence made it’s way across Canada in the form of small, more personal protests.

“I had many people contact me on Facebook that they were lighting candles as far away as Toronto,” said Bjornson.

The walk was organized by Bjornson as a way of giving voice to the community to combat the fear and lethargy in the community.

“That’s what bothers me the most, the code of silence that everyone keeps,” said Bjornson.

Bjornson has become frustrated by the quietness of her son’s case, and the dead ends she’s seen stall other cases like it. The dead air surrounding these events frightens her.

“This feels dangerous, this lack of doing anything,” said Bjornson.

So she’s putting out the call to all member’s of the community.

“It’s up to each and every one of us to make sure (this country) is safe,” said Bjornson.

With this explosion of people making their voices heard Bjornson is looking to the future, and an awakening in communities.

“I hope something good comes from it,” said Bjornson.

 

 

Just Posted

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

Coastal GasLink prepares sites of construction work camps

Unist’ot’en condemn 14 ‘man camps’ housing 500-800 workers as threatening safety of women and children

TSKLH Nation sues Province over Brucejack mine revenue sharing

The Tsetsaut/Skii km Lax Ha seeks to assert rights and title in the area around Pretivm gold mine.

Unist’ot’en not joining hereditary chiefs’ provincial reconciliation

A potlatch feast will be held in March by the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to discuss with clans.

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Father to be charged with first-degree murder in Amber Alert case

11-year-old Riya Rajkumar was found dead in her father’s home in Brampton, Ontario

Most Read