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Prince George memorial for 215 children now on display at Exploration Place

Public can view the memorial through the atrium windows

The memorial to the 215 children found in an unmarked grave at Kamloops Residential School in May is now on display at The Exploration Place.

The memorial formed on the steps of city hall soon after Tk’emlups te Secwepemc announced they confirmed the presence of the children’s remains using ground-penetrating radar.

It was assembled through the contributions of many people who brought children’s shoes, boots, teddy bears and other items.

It was taken down last Friday and moved on a temporary basis to The Exploration Place where it is now on display and can be viewed by the public through the atrium windows as the museum remains closed due to COVID-19.

“People are still grieving for the 215 children and their families. It has been a very difficult two weeks and the pain of this discovery for many people is still strong is not going away anytime soon. Our partners at The Exploration Place stepped up to provide a safe place to store the memorial until a permanent solution can be found,” said the Lehidli T’enneh Chief Dolleen Logan.

“We thank The Exploration Place for providing this solution so that people can continue to view the Memorial and remember these young children who never got the chance to live their lives, chase their dreams and contribute to their communities. This Memorial is a constant reminder that we can never forget the dark chapter in Canadian history of Residential Schools and the harm they did to individuals, families and communities.”

Exploration Place CEO Tracy Calogheros said the memorial will be on display until at least mid-July, adding that additional items may be left outside the building but requests that they be organic materials like flowers or smudge bundles.

“These items will be periodically burned as we have been taught is appropriate by Elders and members of other Indigenous communities in the area. Our staff were deeply moved by the items assembled for this Memorial. We are glad to provide a safe place to share them with people and at the same time, protect them as is the wish of our partner the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation.”