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Vigil in Stoney Creek planned to honour 215 Indigenous children found in B.C. mass grave

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Vigil in Stoney Creek planned to honour 215 Indigenous children found in B.C. mass grave

The Canadian Press

A vigil to honour the 215 children found in a mass grave outside of a former residential school in B.C. is planned for Monday evening (May 31) in lower Stoney Creek.

The vigil is slated to begin at 6 p.m. at the Eagle Among Us Monument located outside the Battlefield Museum at King and Centennial.

“Bring your songs, drums, prayers and candles,” a notice about the event said.

The children’s remains were located using ground-penetrating radar last week at the site in Kamloops, B.C., in the province’s Interior.

The Kamloops residential school operated between 1890 and 1969. The National Truth and Reconciliation Commission has records of at least 51 children dying at the school between 1915 and 1963.

Some of the children found in the grave were as young as three years old.

Flags at Hamilton City Hall and at schools and government buildings across the city will be lowered to half-mast starting Monday, for nine days (215 hours) to honour the children found in the mass grave.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger said in a Tweet Monday morning that a moment of silence will be observed at 2:15 p.m. and he encouraged members of the public to wear orange to honour the 215 children, “their families and the Indigenous community.”

At the site of Monday’s vigil, a touching tribute to the lost children has started, with members of the community donating pairs of shoes in remembrance of each child found in the grave.

According to a CHCH report, the shoes will eventually be donated to local Indigenous agencies.

Residents who plan to attend the vigil are asked to wear masks, remain a physical distance from those not of their own household and remain at home if unwell.

— with a file from The Canadian Press

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