Every Child Matters: “It’s about finding a way to make it right”

Saying “sorry” doesn’t cut it unless it is followed up by “meaningful action.”

These were among the powerful words delivered at Town Park on Sunday evening at a socially-distant vigil by the Aurora Black Community in vigil following the discovery of 215 Indigenous children in unmarked graves on the grounds of a residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia.

On June 6, dozens of residents came out to Town Park, many donning orange shirts, a symbolic act of raising awareness of what happened within the residential school system, to mourn the tragic loss recently uncovered and help chart a path forward.

“We’re here today to commemorate those 215 children that were dumped in a mass grave like garbage – that hurts a lot,” said Traditional Anishinaabe Grandmother Kim Wheatley, who is Turtle Clan and carries the Spirit Name “Head or Leader of the Fire Flower”, who led Sunday night’s event. “Those children were as young as three years old. The government said they didn’t take children that young, but their bodies are there.”

Sunday, she said, was not about the government per se, rather it was to honour the children, their families, and their nations.

“We’re still here and we ask for your compassion at this time. But more than that, we ask you to step forward and to do something in solidarity with us. This is not just a story – these are children; children who were denied the right to go home to their parents,” she continued.

The night of solidarity was an example of the community stepping forward to do something.
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