The vigil and walk will take place at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum on Fraser Highway. (Langley Advance Times files)

The vigil and walk will take place at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum on Fraser Highway. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley vigil to honour victims of residential schools

Elders and school survivors are expected to speak at the Friday, June 11 event

A vigil this Friday will serve as a memorial for the 215 children located in unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Residential School.

Organized by the Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society (LFVAS), the event includes a one kilometre walk through the Derek Doubleday Arboretum on Fraser Highway, with a ceremony at 7 p.m. that evening.

Signs and information on reconciliation and residential schools will be placed alongside the one-kilometre length of the path, along with 215 solar lights, one for each grave located on the former school site, said Katie Pearson, CEO of the LFVAS.

People can walk through the signage at any time during the day, but the vigil and ceremony starts at 7 p.m.

READ MORE: Langley woman says her mother put her up for adoption to avoid Kamloops residential school

The speakers are still being arranged, but it’s expected they will include elders, leaders, and intergenerational survivors of the residential school system.

The discovery of the graves has caused an outpouring of emotion from Canadians. Many non-Indigenous Canadians did not know that thousands of Indigenous children died at residential schools, and a true accounting of the numbers and causes of their deaths has never been made.

People attending the vigil are asked to wear orange in support of residential school survivors, to wear masks, and to distance.

Parking for the vigil is at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church parking lot across from the arboretum, at 20955 Old Yale Road.


Have a story tip? Email: matthew.claxton@langleyadvancetimes.com

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