A temporary memorial for victims of Canada's residential schools is blessed by Indigenous elders in a pipe ceremony in Calgary on Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Bill Graveland

Calgary plans permanent residential school memorial after vandalism

City Hall temporary memorial vandalized in the Alberta city

Plans are underway to create a permanent memorial for victims of Canada’s residential schools to replace a fire-damaged one that includes hundreds of children’s shoes on the steps of Calgary City Hall.

The temporary memorial, which also has stuffed animals and a child’s bicycle, was blessed by Indigenous elders in a pipe ceremony Thursday (Aug. 26).

The city and Calgary’s Indigenous and Metis communities have committed to work toward building a permanent marker to remember the children who died in the schools.

The site has been the target of recent vandalism: ashes can be seen in one area where someone tried to burn a teddy bear and some shoes.

This summer, hundreds of unmarked graves have been discovered at institutions Indigenous children were forced to attend for decades across Canada.

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