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Lakeland communities lowering flags to honour Residential School victims

Flags are at half-mast today in Lakeland communities after the discovery of the remains of 215 children buried at the site of a former Residential School in British Columbia.

Lac La Biche County Mayor Omer Moghrabi says the flags will remain at half-mast for four days.

“Council and I would like to honour the lives and memories of these 215 children—each one was important, and an immeasurable loss. We stand with the victims and survivors of the residential school system, along with their families and communities.”

The City of Cold Lake has also announced flags will be lowered at City Hall and other City buildings.

“We stand in solidarity with our neighbours Cold Lake First Nations and all Indigenous families, children and survivors whose lives were forever changed by the residential school system.” said the City in a Facebook post

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The remains of 215 children were found buried at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. Indian residential schools operated in Canada between the 1870s and the 1990s, with the last one closing in 1996. The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation estimates based on death records that about 4,100 children died at the schools, but has said the total is likely much higher.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he has asked for the flags at all federal buildings to be flown at half-mast.

Support for residential school survivors is available through the Indian Residential School Survivors Society by calling toll-free at 1-800-721-0066. A 24-hour national Indian Residential School Crisis Line is also available for emotional support or assistance at 1-866-925-4419.

With files from Erica Fisher,

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