The discovery of 215 childrens remains at the Kamloops Indian Residential School was announced by the Chief of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation.
The Town of Vermilion lowered its flags on May 31 to half-mast in a show of solidarity and to mourn the loss of the 215 children found buried at the former Kamloops Indian Residential school, as well as, in memory of the thousands of children who were sent to residential schools.
“For those who never returned, and in honour of the families whose lives were forever changed.
It is absolutely devasting to hear that the remains of 215 children have been discovered on the grounds of a former residential school in Kamloops,” stated Mayor Caroline McAuley. “The community of Vermilion holds the victims and their families in our thoughts.”
The flags flew at half-mast for eight days and 23 hours.
The Town also recognizes the discovery of the children's remains could have a negative impact on the families who had children attend the school as well as on those who attended the school at one point, and would like to inform residents of a Residential Schools Crisis Line that is available 24 hours a day for anyone who may experience pain or distress during this time. The Crisis line number is 1-866-925-4419.
Lakeland College, the RCMP detachment, the Provincial building and Canada Post in Vermilion also lowered their flags to half-mast.
In a press release by the Tk’emlumps te Secwepemc First Nation it said, “We had a knowing in our community that we were able to verify. To our knowledge, these missing children are undocumented deaths,” stated Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir. “Some were as young as three years old. We sought out a way to confirm that knowing out of deepest respect and love for those lost children and their families, understanding that Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc is the final resting place of these children.”