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VIDEO: Aldergrove educators mark Indigenous child victims with orange ribbons

215 children’s remains were discovered at the site of the former Kamloops residential school
Aldergrove Community Secondary staff tied 215 orange ribbons to honour and remember the 215 children who did not return home from the Kamloops Residential school. (Special to The Star)

Staff at Aldergrove Community Secondary (ACSS) have joined a growing movement to commemorate the 215 young lives lost following last week’s discovery of remains at the site of the former Kamloops residential school.

A Facebook and Twitter post shared by ACSS noted that staff tied 215 orange ribbons to the school’s chain-link fence on Monday morning, May 31.

“215 children taken from 430 parents, 860 grandparents, innumerable aunties, uncles, cousins, friends, and relatives. Immeasurable memories, legacies, and stories taken from just one school,” the school’s social media post read.

“Reconciliation is the willingness to learn and to listen. We pledge to continually listen, hear, learn and bear witness.”

Stuffed toys and orange ribbons adorn the fence at Conder Park in Langley City, which has also set up a memorial at Douglas Park.

Both Langley City and Township have announced the lowering of flags at their facilities.

In Vancouver, 215 pairs of kids’ shoes now line the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery after being placed there last Friday by First Nations advocates from the Downtown Eastside.

The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc band has begun reaching out to other First Nations across Western Canada that might have had children sent to the school who never returned home.

Gord Stewart, Langley School District superintendent, noted that June is National Indigenous History month and June 21 is National Indigenous People Day.

“It is a time to focus on the history, heritage, and diversity of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples in Canada,” he said.

“As part of our district’s truth and reconciliation journey and anti-racism commitment, we encourage everyone to do your own learning and recommend families connect with your children and engage in conversations.”

READ MORE: Vancouver memorial growing to honour 215 children buried at residential school site

As part of the recent anti-racism awareness week, Langley educators and students took part in learning activities focused on understanding racism and helping build a diverse, inclusive, and nurturing community.

The district sent a message out to the school community encouraging students and staff to wear orange T-shirts in solidarity this week.

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