The flags at Correlieu Secondary School are two of many around the city which have been lowered to half-mast in remembrance of the 215 students discovered in a mass grave at a Kamloops residential school site. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

The flags at Correlieu Secondary School are two of many around the city which have been lowered to half-mast in remembrance of the 215 students discovered in a mass grave at a Kamloops residential school site. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Quesnel School District calls on community to join in mourning residential school grave site

The bodies of 215 children were discovered at a mass grave at a former Kamloops residential school

The Quesnel School District board is asking members of the community to join in acknowledging and mourning the 215 children discovered buried in a mass grave at a former Kamloops residential school.

Flags at all district sites will be lowered to half-mast for 215 hours to memorialize each child lost. On Tuesday, June 1, the district is asking all staff and students to wear orange to remember all students who were taken to residential schools and those who never returned home.

READ MORE: Trudeau promises more support for Indigenous Peoples after unmarked graves found

“We offer our condolences and support to the Indigenous community. We commit to listening, learning and taking action in support of Truth and Reconciliation,” a news release from the district reads.

The Quesnel Friendship Centre will also be honouring the lives lost. The centre has set up 215 candles alongside a memorial space.

“Anyone may come in the hall, light a candle, say a prayer and add to the memorial space,” executive director of the Quesnel Tillicum Society and school board chairperson Tony Goulet said in an email. “There will be no speeches or gatherings just a respectful way to remember, community is welcome. This is just in the works and will begin after 1 p.m. on May 31.”

Flags at the District of Wells and the City of Quesnel were also lowered to half-mast.

“We stand with the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc to show our respect and support,” read a Facebook post from the district of Wells. “To all the children lost, the survivors, their families and everyone affected by the residential schools all over Canada you will forever be in our hearts.”

Elders, drummers and area First Nation leadership gathered in a prayer circle on Saturday, May 29 to remember the lives lost.

Another ceremony is planned for 7:00 p.m. on May 31 at the Lhtako gas bar.

The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line can be reached at 1-866-925-4419.

READ MORE: First Nations honour victims from Kamloops residential school in Quesnel

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com


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cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com

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