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[Photos] Candlelight Vigil for 215 Children Remains Found @ Canadian Indigenous Residential School

Updated: Jun 5, 2021

Photos by Louie Tran- May 31, 2021- Minneapolis, MN Canadian Consulate Office

Oyate Hotanin, a non-profit 501c3 Indigenous Arts and Social Justice organization dedicated to supporting and presenting a variety of Native voices and perspectives in a world out of balance. On Monday May 31st, they created a healing space and vigil for the 215 indigenous children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School in Canada. All jingle dress dancers and singers were called to come out because the communities need healing.

The remains of 215 children, some as young as 3 years old, were found buried in Kamloops, British Columbia on a site of what was once Canada’s largest Indigenous residential school — one of the institutions that held children taken from families across the nation. More bodies may be found because there are more areas to search on the school grounds.

From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 First Nations children were required to attend state-funded Christian schools as part of a program to assimilate them into Canadian society. They were forced to convert to Christianity and not allowed to speak their native languages. Many were beaten and verbally abused, and up to 6,000 are said to have died.

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