A Utah ofrenda memorializes children who were buried to be forgotten
El Día de los Muertos is a powerful celebration of memory. But at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, one striking ofrenda — a memorial altar — honors deaths that were long treated as forgettable.
What's happening: Among the ofrendas that community groups have placed in the center's gallery, you'll find a paper grave to honor indigenous children who died in abusive boarding schools.
- Hundreds of students' bodies were cast into unmarked graves, which are now being investigated in the United States and Canada.
Of note: Many of the residential schools were operated by churches, with the Catholic church running Canadian schools where Indigenous groups have reported evidence of more than 1,000 unmarked graves.
- The ofrenda for the schools' victims was created by children at the Madeleine Choir School, a Catholic private school in Salt Lake City.
What they're saying: "You did not deserve what happened," one student wrote on an orange paper shirt, a symbol of residential school victims.
Meanwhile: The center is hosting its Día de los Muertos celebration 11am-6pm Saturday, with performances, activities, food, a beer garden and a La Catrina/El Catrin costume contest.
- Location: 1355 W. 3100 South
- Tickets: $5. (No charge for kids 12 and under.)
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