This past weekend the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc (Kamloops Indian Band) announced that a mass grave of 215 children had been found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. Of particular sadness, was the absence of no markers and no signs of respect for any of these young children who were left to be forgotten.
While we cannot change history, we can acknowledge this dark part of our Canadian past by acknowledging these young lives as part of ongoing Truth and Reconciliation efforts. Starting at noon today (May 31, 2021), Prairie Rose Public Schools will join school jurisdictions across the country in lowering the flags at all school facility locations for 215 hours to represent each of the children who were found. All flags will remain down until noon on Wednesday, June 9th.
Throughout the operation and existence of residential schools in Canada (1880-1997), it is estimated that 150,000 children were taken from their families and sent to school to “assimilate them” to Canadian society. The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc is one of many indigenous communities who have received funding through the Missing Children Project to locate the burial places of children who died while attending these residential schools. Since the project began, more than 4,100 children who attended residential schools have been identified.
Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc confirms the discovery of a mass grave containing 215 children: https://tkemlups.ca/wp-content/uploads/05-May-27-2021-TteS-MEDIA-RELEASE.pdf
Missing Children Project: http://www.trc.ca/events-and-projects/missing-children-project.html
A History of Residential Schools in Canada: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/a-history-of-residential-schools-in-canada-1.702280