May 31, 2021
I write this message with deepest respect and profound sadness. The discovery this week of the remains of 215 children at Kamloops Indian Residential School is a glaring reminder that we have a great deal of work to do to educate our society on the tragic wrongs we have committed and continue to commit towards the people whose land we occupy. Any act of reconciliation seems insignificant when faced with such tragedies. Let us consider our own acts of reconciliation as a move toward a more positive and inclusive future for all.
Let us also be diligent in the care of our students and each other and remember that there are supports available through our mental wellness teams. Reach out to your immediate supervisor should you or your students require support.
Please find below a media release which will be sent today to inform the public of the NNDSB decision to lower all flags to half-mast for 215 hours from May 31 to June 8.
The Near North District School Board community is saddened by the news of the discovery of the remains of 215 children on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia.
Our thoughts are with the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, the surrounding First Nations of this area, and all Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island.
This disturbing discovery reinforces our commitment to make reconciliation a priority in our school board. We commit to transform our education system to decolonize our practices and our minds and to honour Indigenous histories, cultures and perspectives today and every day.
All Near North District School Board buildings will lower their flags for 215 hours to honour the 215 lives lost in remembrance of all Indigenous children who never made it home and in acknowledgement of residential school survivors and their families. Flags will fly at half-mast from May 31 to June 8.
Director of Education