Communities across Canada are expressing their grief and condolences after the discovery of the unmarked graves of 215 First Nations children at the former residential school site in Kamloops.
On Sunday in Maple Ridge, there will be a service at Memorial Peace Park called “A day to recognize, remember and mourn.”
Up to 50 people may gather.
One of the organizers is Ahmed Yousef, who said he is acting as an individual and not a member of city council, along with Myrna Norman.
He said there will be a drumming ceremony, speakers including Katzie First Nation Chief Grace George, a moment of silence and a procession.
It will start at 1:45 p.m. at Memorial Peace Park.
“It’s very emotional, very tragic,” said Yousef of the discovery of the remains of children. “It’s impossible to understand that level of pain and suffering.”
A memorial has been offered at the Katzie First Nation flag in Spirit Square in Pitt Meadows. The city is asking residents to please place memorial items, such as flowers and shoes, below the flag.
“It’s a central place, for solidarity and remembering,” said Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall, noting that the Katzie Flag, and signage in the traditional language of the Katzie, have been important additions to the city.
The Katzie will later take the items to a memorial in their community.
Dingwall has heard a lot of reaction from Pitt Meadows residents to the discovery of the unmarked burial site in Kamloops.
“Most people are disgusted – it’s so horrific,” he said. “And some of those who committed the worst acts can not be held accountable – they’re gone.”
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