Ceremony remembers 215 children that were found in mass grave

ceremony city hall

A Heartfelt ceremony this afternoon in St. Catharines.

The city and the Niagara Regional Native Centre holding the ceremony to honour the lives of 215 children that were discovered in a mass grave at a former residential school.

Karl Dockstader, Executive Director of The Niagara Regional Native Centre, says "If there is one thing that can't happen after today we can't walk away from this and not look back, we have to walk away from this and continue to look at this. We have to remember that this is the truth. Every community member that laid a shoe down here is representing a child that was taken from their family too soon."

Members of the community had been leaving shoes on the steps of city hall since the remains were found.

St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik called on the federal government to approve Bill C-15 regarding the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous people of Canada. Sendzik added "we will no longer turn a blind eye or turn the page, we will not make this moment a footnote in our history books."

Following the ceremony the flags were raised. They were at half staff for 215 hours.