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A young girl in Tweed, Ont. created her own memorial for Indigenous children

Click to play video: '9-year-old girl creates memorial for Indigenous children in Tweed, Ont.' 9-year-old girl creates memorial for Indigenous children in Tweed, Ont.
WATCH: The memorial will remain for 215 hours, or nine days, to honour the 215 Indigenous children who were discovered in an unmarked burial site in Kamloops, B.C – Jun 7, 2021

When the unmarked burial site of 215 children was uncovered in Kamloops last month, memorials for the children sprung up across the country. This week, a young girl in Tweed, Ont., created one of her own.

“I saw it on your news channel, and I thought I could do something about it. Because I saw a lot of different places were doing it, so I thought I could do it, too,” said nine-year-old McCartney Poff.

Read more: Small red dresses line B.C. highway in tribute to children found in burial site

The third-grader explains that the story really connected with her, as many of the children found were around her age.

“Probably some of them had a dream that they really wanted to come true, and it couldn’t because of what happened,” said Poff.

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The memorial is located right on the main street of Tweed, toward the south end of the town. In a community of 6,000 people, the young girl says there was significant turnout on the memorial’s first day.

“It started a little bit before 10, and then more people started to come, and it’s gotten busier,” said Poff.

McCartney wasn’t alone in setting up this memorial. Her whole family helped out and was on hand to provide support.

“Her goal is to collect 215 pairs of shoes for each life that was lost out in B.C.,” said mother, Irene Poff.

Read more: ‘No road map’ for grieving, healing work after B.C. residential school finding: chief

The family was more than happy to help take this memorial from idea to reality, and McCartney’s mother says she was touched by what she described as her daughter’s compassion and initiative.

“You know what, it’s really kind of a tear-jerker. She’s just such a sweet soul. So we’re all pretty proud of her,” said the child’s mother.

The family says that the memorial on Tweed’s main street will remain for 215 hours, or nine days, and those who want to stop and donate a pair of shoes can bring them to the site and hang them themselves.

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