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Local residential school memorial now on display at The Exploration Place

The Lheidli T’enneh First Nation today announced that the Memorial to the 215 children found in an unmarked grave at the Kamloops residential school two weeks ago is back on display at The Exploration Place.

The memorial was on display at City Hall soon after the discovery of the remains of the 215 children were found. It was assembled through the contributions of many people who brought children’s shoes, boots, teddy bears and other items. It was taken down last Friday and moved on a temporary basis to The Exploration Place. The memorial is back on display inside the atrium at The Exploration Place so people can view it through the large windows.

“People are still grieving for the 215 children and their families,” said Dolleen Logan, Lheidle T’enneh chief. “It has been a very difficult two weeks and the pain of this discovery for many people is still strong is not going away anytime soon. Our partners at The Exploration Place stepped up to provide a safe place to store the memorial until a permanent solution can be found. Now The Exploration Place team has placed the memorial back on display in the atrium so that people can view it from outside the building as museum remains closed due to COVID-19. We thank The Exploration Place for providing this solution so that people can continue to view the Memorial and remember these young children who never got the chance to live their lives, chase their dreams and contribute to their communities. This memorial is a constant reminder that we can never forget the dark chapter in Canadian history of Residential Schools and the harm they did to individuals, families and communities.”

The Exploration PLace CEO Tracy Calogheros said emorial will be on display until at least mid-July.

“We support our partner the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation in wanting the memorial to be available to people who wish to view it and remember the 215 children and their families,” she said. “Additional items may be left outside our building but we respectfully ask that those items be organic materials such as flowers and smudge bundles. These items will be periodically burned as we have been taught is appropriate by elders and members of other indigenous communities in the area. Our staff were deeply moved by the items assembled for this memorial. We are glad to provide a safe place to share them with people and at the same time, protect them as is the wish of our partner the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation.”

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