Flags at Prince Rupert City Hall will be lowered to half-mast on May 31, in recognition of the 215 children whose remains were detected during the weekend of May 23, on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
“The City will be putting its flag at half-mast on Monday in remembrance of the 215 indigenous children who’s stories were never told,” Mayor Lee Brain posted on his social media page, May 29.
“These unmarked graves are a national tragedy – and serve as a stark reminder of the attempted genocide of indigenous people in this country,” he said. “These poor children didn’t even have a chance. It is so tragic, heartbreaking and sad – it is crimes against humanity.”
“Let this be a time for truth, reconciliation and healing for all,” the mayor said.
Jennifer Rice, MLA for the North Coast said the situation is ‘horrific and heart wrenching’.
“As I hold my own baby, I find it unthinkable that any harm should come to him. Let alone to have him stolen, abused, and buried,” Rice said. “Each one of these children was somebody’s baby. They tragically suffered for being born indigenous.”
“I am grateful to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc people for their work to surface the truth of this tragedy. The effects of Canada’s residential school system are still being felt today. My heart goes out to all who are impacted by this news,” Rice said.
The decision to lower flags at the Prince Rupert municipal building follows closely the unanimous decision of the federal government to create a national day of truth and reconciliation.
Members of Parliament voted to fast-track Bill C-5 legislation on May 28. If passed by the Senate the new legislation will establish Sept. 30 as a statutory day to pay tribute and honour to the victims and survivors of Indigenous residential schools.
Within B.C., the KUU-US Crisis Line Society provides a First Nations and Indigenous-specific crisis line available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, toll-free from anywhere in British Columbia. The KUU-US Crisis Line can be reached toll-free at 1 800 588-8717. Alternatively, call direct into the Youth Line at 250 723-2040 or the Adult Line at 250 723-4050, or online: https://www.kuu-uscrisisline.com/
K-J Millar | Journalist
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