The flag at the BC Legislature will be flown at half-mast starting on Sunday, May 30, 2021, to honour the 215 Indigenous children whose bodies were found at a former residential school near Kamloops, B.C. (BC Legislature)

The flag at the BC Legislature will be flown at half-mast starting on Sunday, May 30, 2021, to honour the 215 Indigenous children whose bodies were found at a former residential school near Kamloops, B.C. (BC Legislature)

Flags at federal buildings, BC Legislature lowered to honour residential school victims

The bodies of 215 Indigenous children were found at a former residential school

Flags at federal buildings across the country, and at the BC Legislature, are being lowered Sunday (May 30) to honour the 215 children found buried on the site of a former residential school in Kamloops.

The discovery of the bodies was confirmed Thursday (May 27) by the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation. The children’s remains were found by using ground penetrating radar.

The Kamloops residential school operated between 1890 and 1969, where as many as 500 children were enrolled at one time. The federal government took over the facility’ from the Catholic Church and ran it as a day school until it closed in 1978.

The National Truth and Reconciliation Commission has records of at least 51 children dying at the school between 1915 and 1963.

The Chief of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, R. Stacey LaForme, wrote Trudeau on Saturday to ask the government to lower the flags and declare a national day of mourning.

“There is a lot more to be done but first and foremost, we need to do this to show love and respect to the 215 children, all of the children, and their families,” LaForme said in a statement. “This should be a moment that the country never forgets.”

Sol Mamakwa, an Indigenous NDP legislator who represents the Ontario riding of Kiiwetinoong, called on the province and Canadian government to work with all First Nations to look for remains at other defunct residential schools.

“It is a great open secret that our children lie on the properties of the former schools — an open secret that Canadians can no longer look away from,” Mamakwa said in a statement. “In keeping with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Missing Children Projects, every school site must be searched for the graves of our ancestors.”

“To honour the 215 children whose lives were taken at the former Kamloops residential school and all Indigenous children who never made it home, the survivors, and their families, I have asked that the Peace Tower flag and flags on all federal buildings be flown at half-mast,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement Sunday.

National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day at 1-866-925-4419.

READ MORE: Work underway for forensics experts to identify B.C. school remains

READ MORE: B.C. teachers to wear orange shirts to honour children found dead at residential school


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

IndigenousJustin Trudeauresidential schools

Just Posted

Work has begun on the $10-million, 120-kilometre fibre-optic line from Playmor Junction to north of Nakusp. File photo
Work begins on Slocan Valley fibre-optic line

The $10-million, 120-kilometre fibre-optic line runs from Playmor Junction to north of Nakusp

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

Nelson City Council decided against granting a backyard chickens exemption to a Rosemont resident at its June 15 meeting. Photo: Zachariah Smith/ Unsplash
Nelson council says no to backyard chickens

Chickens attract bears and rats, say experts

Jade Osecki leading a Fridays for Future climate march in Nelson in 2020. Photo: Submitted
Nelson Grade 12 student Jade Osecki wins Suzy Hamilton Award

Carolyn Schramm was also honoured in this year’s environmental award for West Kootenay women

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison appointed to parliamentary national security committee

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian one of five candidates appointed to national security committee

We are serious journalists.
VIDEO: Wednesday Roundup

Tyler and Bill talk about chickens, sled dogs and other newsy news

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Most Read