The discovery of the remains of 215 school children in Kamloops has left Canada’s school communities in mourning.
“Burial grounds instead of playgrounds,” said the Vernon School District in a statement. “Heartbreaking.”
To honour the lives of the residential school victims found Friday, May 28, schools across the Okanagan are remembering this week.
Along with flying all flags at half-mast, staff and students have been invited to wear orange.
The week began with a moment of silence and many are honouring the children in other ways.
Students from Hillview Elementary, for instance, tied 215 orange ribbons to their school’s fence.
“We must continue to learn about the history and ongoing impacts of colonialism, and recognize that we have a responsibility to personally and collectively answer the Truth and Reconciliation commission’s calls to action,” SD22’s statement reads.
“The district acknowledges the many staff, students, and families who are deeply and, in some cases, personally affected by this tragedy.”
Support is available through the Indian Residential School Survivors line at 1-800-721-0066, KUU-US Indigenous crisis line — available 24-7 (Youth Line 250-723-2040 and Adult Line 250-723-4050) and the 24-7 Residential School Crisis line at 1-866-925-4419.