FILE – The fence of Erickson Elementary School was lined with 22 orange shirts on Sept. 30 in honour of Orange Shirt Day. (Aaron Hemens - Creston Valley Advance)

FILE – The fence of Erickson Elementary School was lined with 22 orange shirts on Sept. 30 in honour of Orange Shirt Day. (Aaron Hemens - Creston Valley Advance)

B.C. teachers to wear orange shirts to honour children found dead at residential school

Discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children was confirmed by the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation

The union representing B.C. teachers said it is asking for school districts across the province to fly flags at half-mast next week in honour of the 215 Indigenous children found dead on the grounds of a Kamloops residential school.

The discovery of the bodies was confirmed Thursday (May 27) by the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation. The Kamloops Indian Residential School operated from the late 1800s until 1977 and the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc said there were as many as 500 children enrolled at the school at one time. The children’s remains were found by using ground penetrating radar.

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation said it will be working with its local unions to organize orange shirt walk-ins next week in honour of the children. Orange Shirt Day is officially held in September each year to commemorate the experience Indigenous peoples endured in residential schools, to honour the healing of survivors and their families and to continue to work towards reconciliation.

National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day at 1-866-925-4419.

READ MORE: Remains of 215 children found at former residential school in Kamloops

READ MORE: Survivor support needed in wake of ‘unimaginable’ mass burial discovery: Splatsin chief


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