Nova Scotia, municipalities lowering flags for residential school victims

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An archeologist will oversee the renovations at Province House's gardens as there are expected to be artifacts dating back to Halifax's founding in the soil. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)
An archeologist will oversee the renovations at Province House's gardens as there are expected to be artifacts dating back to Halifax's founding in the soil. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)

The flags on all provincial buildings in Nova Scotia will be flown at half mast starting Monday in memory of the 215 children whose bodies were found buried at the site of a former residential school in British Columbia last weekend.

Premier Iain Rankin made the announcement Sunday on social media.

He said flags will stay at half mast until sunset on June 8.

Earlier in the day, Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor Amanda McDougall announced on social media that flags in the municipality would be lowered for 215 hours — one hour for each of the lives lost.

Halifax mayor Mike Savage announced on Twitter that the municipality would also lower its flags in honour of the children.

Flags were already being lowered on all federal buildings across the country Sunday following a request from the prime minister.

The Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation said on Thursday that a survey of the grounds at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School had uncovered the remains of 215 children buried at the site.

The school was in operation from 1890 to 1969.

It is estimated that about 150,000 aboriginal, Inuit and Métis children were removed from their communities and forced to attend residential schools.
It is estimated that about 150,000 aboriginal, Inuit and Métis children were removed from their communities and forced to attend residential schools.(Library and Archives Canada/PA-042133)

At the time, the Canadian government followed a policy of "aggressive assimilation" to be taught at church-run, government-funded industrial schools, later called residential schools.

It is estimated more than 150,000 Indigenous children attended residential schools in Canada from the 1830s until the last school closed in 1996.

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