National Day of Indigenous Peoples: 2 events to celebrate and mourn on Monday 21 June


VANCOUVER – This year’s National Indigenous Peoples Day, which falls on Monday, will include a vigil for the 215 children whose bodies were recently identified as being buried in unmarked graves on the grounds of the Kamloops residential school.

Those who organized the Children’s Shoe Memorial at the Vancouver Art Gallery are asking people from coast to coast to mourn and remember the children at 7:00 p.m. Kamloops time.

“Everyone mourns the discovery of the 215 children in the boarding schools, raise your voice, your drums … let’s hear them,” says the event description.

Indigenous and non-indigenous people in Vancouver are also invited to come to the steps in front of the gallery where the existing shoe memorial is located.

“Today, more than ever, non-indigenous people are called upon to give space to the indigenous peoples and their experiences and to focus on them,” the event description reads.

The event will be advertised on Facebook by people connected to the existing shoe memorial, including Haida artist Tamara Bell. Bell is the person who first came up with the idea of ​​placing 215 pairs of children’s shoes on the steps of the gallery in May when the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation announced they had found the bodies. Since then it has become an important place for meeting, healing and learning about boarding schools.

“Wear orange and bring your drums with you,” says the event description, referring to the drummers of the First Nations.

On Monday, the Carnegie Community Center and UBC are hosting a free online cultural event to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day, which is also open to all.

The event, which features live streams and recorded performances and artist talks, runs from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM and features dancer Larissa Healey and more.