Should a public memorial to Indigenous children who did not return from residential schools be maintained in Vancouver? – Castanet

Officials in Vancouver are meeting with the artist and volunteers who are keeping vigil on a children’s shoe memorial on the steps of the city’s art gallery in an effort to end the tribute to children who didn’t return from residential schools.

The installation started with 215 pairs of children’s shoes on the gallery steps and was set up shortly after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced the possible unmarked graves of children were found on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

The city says in a statement it notified the artist in November that the growing memorial of shoes and stuffed animals needed to come down ahead of the two-year anniversary of the announcement of the Kamloops discovery this May.

The statement says the decision is supported by the local Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations.

It says the memorial was initially installed in response to the profound need for grieving and healing spaces, but the continuation of the memorial isn’t aligned with the spiritual practices of the three area First Nations.

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