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B.C. woman behind viral photo was given up for adoption to avoid being sent to Kamloops residential school (VIDEO)

"We have to take action and we have to make people accountable."

The pain of B.C.'s sordid residential school history is all too familiar for Tina Taphouse.

Taphouse is Interior Salish from St’át’imc Territory, specifically the T’it’q’et First Nation in Lillooet. 

Several of the Langley photographer's relatives attended the Kamloops Indian Residential School (KIRS), which operated until 1969. 

Her mother, Hilda Frank, began working at KIRS in 1964. She even put Tina up for adoption in 1968, just so her child wouldn't have to attend the now-infamous school, where the remains of an estimated 215 children have been discovered buried beneath the site.

"It's sometimes hard for her to talk about it, to talk about everything. There are some things I don't want to ask; I don't want to ask what she did at the school when she was employed there," she explains.

Taphouse took a photo of the growing memorial outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, which quickly went viral on May 28.

"I had no idea that the photo would take off so fast, but people are apologizing to me on social media and just to see everybody talking about it, and talking about honouring the children, it's very good," says Taphouse.

While she appreciates the attention, Taphouse says much still needs to be done to address Canada's fractured relationship with the First Nations.

"It's great to be paying tribute, but we have to take action and we have to make people accountable."