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Trudeau asks for flags to be lowered to honour Kamloops residential school children

TORONTO — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has asked that flags on all federal buildings be flown at half-mast in honour of the lives of 215 children whose remains were found at a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.

Trudeau says he has made the request, which will include the Peace Tower flag, to honour all Indigenous children who “never made it home”, the survivors of the school and their families.

Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation in British Columbia said the remains of 215 children, some as young as three years old, were confirmed last weekend with the help of ground-penetrating radar.

She described the discovery as “an unthinkable loss that was spoken about but never documented at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.”

Plans are underway to bring in forensics experts to identify and repatriate the remains of the children found buried on the site.

Mayors of communities across Ontario including Toronto, Ottawa, Mississauga and Brampton have also ordered flags lowered to honour the children.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 30, 2021.

The Canadian Press