EDMONTON — Alberta teachers have been asked to wear orange on Monday in remembrance of 215 Indigenous children whose bodies were found buried beneath a former residential school in B.C.
The Alberta Teachers Association put out the call on Sunday as a sign of remembrance and commitment to truth and reconciliation.
Orange is the colour chosen to symbolize the spirit of reconciliation
The ATA will also lower the flags at its headquarters at Barnett House in Edmonton to commemorate the discovery of the remains of 215 children at a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.
The Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation said in a news release Thursday the remains were confirmed the previous weekend.
Chief Rosanne Casimir called the discovery an “unthinkable loss that was spoken about but never documented at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.”
She said it’s believed the deaths are undocumented, although a local museum archivist is working with the Royal British Columbia Museum to see if any records of the deaths can be found.
Like the ATA, Edmonton Public Schools will lower flags to half mast until after National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21.
And starting Monday, the flags at Edmonton City Hall will be lowered for 215 hours, until June 8. Council will observe a moment of silence 215 seconds long.
Edmontonians paid respects in a number of ways over the weekend. Some donned orange early. Two hundred and 15 pairs of shoes were laid out at a Catholic monument, and a memorial was started at the Alberta legislature.
Contact the Indian Residential School Survivors Society toll-free 1 (800) 721-0066 or 24-hour Crisis Line 1 (866) 925-4419 if you require further emotional support or assistance.
With files from The Canadian Press
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