May 31, 2021
By Jane Brown
Indigenous leaders across Canada are calling for an examination of every former residential school site after the discovery of remains of 215 children at one location in British Columbia.
They say confirming the identities of those who lie in unmarked graves and returning their remains to family are integral parts of truth and reconciliation.
The grim discovery last week at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School has prompted a profound reaction across the country.
Raymond Frogner is with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and says reconciliation is a long term process.
“This is going to occur over generations, as the Honourable Murray Sinclair has said, it takes six generations for residential schools to devastate the culture of indigenous communities. It’s going to take several generations to revitalize and begin to establish relationships with the Canadian state and settler communities,” Frogner told CP24.
Flags have been lowered in municipalities, along with provincial and national sites, across the country to honour the lost lives of the 215 children in Kamloops.
Toronto Mayor John Tory has posted a statement, saying “this is a heartbreaking reminder of the terrible and shameful legacy of residential schools and the thousands of innocent children who died.”
He goes on to say he’s spoken with Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation Chief Stacey Laform and asked for Toronto’s ceremonial flags to be lowered to mourn this unspeakable tragedy.
There is also been a call for a National Day of Mourning.