Orange ribbons are tied to the fence outside Vernon’s Gateway Homeless Shelter on 33rd Street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Orange ribbons are tied to the fence outside Vernon’s Gateway Homeless Shelter on 33rd Street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Items stolen from residential school memorial in Vernon

Teddy bears and other items taken from outside People Place

Thieves stooped to a new low in Vernon recently.

One of the Every Child Matters memorials set up in town was stolen.

To show respect to the children and Indigenous families, two offices — Independent Living Vernon and FASD Okanagan Valley Assessment and Support Society — built a memorial outside of People Place on 27th Avenue.

“Within one hour, half of the items were stolen and by the next morning all, but one teddy bear was gone,” FASD’s Bernadette O’Donnell said. “We are broken-hearted and stunned that this caring community would stoop to denigrate a memorial that spoke to the lives lost and broken in such a horrific manner at the residential school.

“The memorial was there so others could add to it as part of individual and community healing.”

The groups would like those who took the items to consider how disrespectful their actions were.

“Come on Vernon, step up to being the thoughtful community that we are,” O’Donnell said.

READ MORE: Okanagan Indian Band honours 215 children

READ MORE: Vernon students tie 215 ribbons in support of residential school victims


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Orange ribbons are tied to the trees, posts and fence outside My Place on 35th Street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

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