Flags lowered in memory of Indigenous children

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Flags at City of Kelowna properties are at half-mast today in solidarity with our Indigenous friends and neighbours after the tragic discovery of 215 children’s remains on the grounds of the former residential school in Kamloops.

As a residential school where indigenous children from many Interior communities were sent, this shocking discovery will affect hundreds of families in our Interior communities as more details emerge from the investigation.

“All we can do right now is express is our deepest condolences to the generations of families who continue to live with their own grief wrought by the residential school system – and now the confirmation that innocent, helpless children were doomed by that nightmarish system,” said Mayor Colin Basran in a statement issued Saturday.

“The misery of this discovery also re-emphasizes our nation’s need to follow through on reconciliation with Indigenous peoples across Canada,” said Mayor Basran. “We have taken some steps locally on this journey, and we are committed to continuing that process.”

“These gestures of remorse and support for Indigenous peoples are important and necessary today, but long-term healing and reconciliation must be a focus for all of us in the days, weeks, months and years ahead,” said Mayor Basran.

“On behalf of my Council colleagues and the citizens of Kelowna, we express our admiration and support to Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation for her leadership. She and the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community have pledged to collaborate and heal together through the investigation into this horrific discovery.”