FORT ST. JOHN, B.C – School District 60 will honour the 215 children whose remains were found at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.
“We must acknowledge that the situation in Kamloops is not the first, or it is probably not the last situation of this kind,” read a letter to parents and guardians of Ma Murray students Wednesday.
A video presentation, put together by the district’s Indigenous Education Center, will air in each school at different times on Thursday. The presentation will include a moment of silence and a prayer song, and a healing dance from SD 60 Spirit of the Peace drummers and jingle dancers.
All flags will also be flown at half mast, and students, along with staff, are encouraged to wear orange shirts.
Each school will partake in separate events to honour the 215 children, such as colouring symbols of orange shirts and feathers, and planting 215 orange marigolds.
In addition, teachers will be able to read books and share videos, that are grade appropriate, to their classes with resources provided by the Indigenous Education Centre.
“This is a difficult time for many of our families on Fort St. John. We will have resources available, please reach out if you need support.”
As the nation continues to grieve, Fort St. John and surrounding area residents are invited to a vigil taking place on Friday at 7 p.m. on 100th Avenue and 100th Street.
The Kamloops Indian Residential School was operated by the Roman Catholic Church between 1890 and 1969. The federal government then took over the school, turning it into a day school until 1978.
” The important message here is that this isn’t just a week thing. It is in response to the Kamloops tragedy but we have programs going on all the time, in terms of supporting our Indigenous students and learning. This is a multi-year approach, not just a one-week thing,” says SD 60 Superintendent Stephen Petrucci.