The Town of Kindersley recently lowered its flags, along with the one at Baker Park to half-mast in memory of the 215 children whose bodies were discovered on the grounds of a former Kamloops Indian Residential School, near the city of Kamloops in B.C. The town will keep the flags lowered for nine days, 215 hours to represent each life.
“We’ve lowered our flags to recognize the tragedy uncovered at the former Kamloops Residential School. This horrific finding should be recognized by all our citizens. This is our small part by doing so [lowering the flag],” said Mayor Rod Perkins.
Across Canada, flags were lowered, teddy bears were placed on doorsteps, rows of tiny shoes were lined up and vigils were held in remembrance of the 215 lives that were needlessly lost.
In a statement, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation said a specialist in ground-penetrating radar was hired to carry out the work, and that their language and culture department oversaw the project to ensure it was done in a culturally appropriate and respectful way. The release did not specify the company or individual involved, or how the work was completed.
“To our knowledge, these missing children are undocumented deaths.
Some were as young as three years old. We sought out a way to confirm that knowing out of deepest respect and love for those lost children and their families, understanding that Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc is the final resting place of these children,” said Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Kukpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir.
“The children were denied their last moments away from family who loved and cherished them. The families were denied the right to grieve, and to follow through with customary burial practices,” said Grand Chief Vernon Watchmaker.
A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. Emotional and crisis referral services can be accessed by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866 925-4419.
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