Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has ordered federal buildings across Canada to lower their flags to half-mast to honour the 215 children found buried at a former residential school.
Trudeau announced the move on social media on Sunday morning. The flag atop Ottawa’s Peace Tower will also be flown at half-mast.
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.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 30, 2021
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The Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation announced on Thursday that the remains of 215 students had been found buried on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.
Operating from 1890 until 1978, the British Columbian school was the largest institution in the Indian Affairs residential school system.
“To our knowledge, these missing children are undocumented deaths,” said Kukpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir. “Some were as young as three years old.”
The current findings are “preliminary,” and the survey of the grounds is expected to continue until mid-June, Tk’emlups te Secwépemc said.
The Missing Children Project, which documents the deaths and burial places of students who died at residential schools, has identified the remains of more than 4,100 children.