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SLIDESHOW: Fraser Valley communities mourn 215 lives lost at residential school

Tiny shoes, flowers, candles and crosses left at churches and courthouses in remembrance

Shoes. Candles. Teddy bears.

The colour orange.

These are the things that mourners are leaving behind on court steps, in church doorways and other public areas as tributes to the 215 children who were buried in unmarked graves at a Kamloops residential school.

Throughout the eastern Fraser Valley, tributes small and large have been created. In Chilliwack, the court steps have been lined with shoes and people have written messages in chalk on the concrete. In Hope, orange shirts and 215 handmade crosses have been attached to a fence along Water Street.

The church at Chawathil First Nation on Highway 1 is filled with tributes. The t-shirts have handwritten phrases written on them that children would have been thinking or saying while at the school, including “I miss my mommy.”

And in Mission, a small memorial is growing at the St. Mary’s residential school site.

To see the tributes, click through the above photo gallery.

The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day at 1-866-925-4419.

READ MORE: Religious order that ran residential school renews apology to Tk’emlups te Secwepemc


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Jessica Peters

About the Author: Jessica Peters

I began my career in 1999, covering communities across the Fraser Valley ever since.
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