In response to the tragic news of the remains of 215 children found at the former residential school in Kamloops last week, the Delta School District held a ceremony at the school board office in Ladner Tuesday morning to honour these children and all those affected by the Residential School System.
Knowledge Keeper, Rose Geurin and members of the Indigenous Education Department took part in a small, socially distanced ceremony.
The recent Giving Tree project (cedar trees) spearheaded by Paige Hansen, District vice-principal, served as the backdrop to hang 215 orange hearts. Children’s shoes were placed around the central cedar tree. Nathan Wilson from the Indigenous Education Department led a group of attendees in drumming 215 beats, one for each child.
“As we continue to learn the truth of our shared Canadian history, we felt it was important to have an event that would help us absorb what has just been revealed as well as help us all on the long hard journey towards reconciliation,” said Diane Jubinville, District vice-principal, Indigenous Education. “The new curriculum is allowing this generation to learn about residential schools. There is still much work to do in educating the public. We are thinking about all the Indigenous families and the Tk'emlups te Secwépemc people at this time.
“For the next few weeks, we invite members of the community to add children’s shoes to the circle to commemorate the lives lost and to show respect to all those families whose lives were forever changed by the Indian Residential School System.”
School District staff are also being encouraged to wear orange this week and the school district is encouraging community members to do the same.