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Canada?s Trudeau orders flags lowered for Indigenous children

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the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
the Catholic Church
the Kamloops Indian Residential School
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the Roman Catholic Church’s
the Catholic Church’s

Justin Trudeau
Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc
Rosanne Casimir
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the Peace Tower

British Columbia

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The New York Times
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Move comes after 215 Indigenous children’s remains found at site of residential school in province of British Columbia.After days of pressure, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has ordered flags flown at half-mast on all federal buildings, including the Peace Tower on Parliament in Ottawa, after the remains of 215 Indigenous children were found at a residential school.In a tweet on Sunday afternoon, Trudeau said the move is “to honour the 215 children whose lives were taken at the former Kamloops residential school and all Indigenous children who never made it home, the survivors, and their families”.Indigenous community leaders and many others had called on the government to lower flags across Canada after a First Nation in the province of British Columbia (BC) announced this week that the remains of 215 children had been found on the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.“To our knowledge, these missing children are undocumented deaths,” said Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation chief Rosanne Casimir.To honour the 215 children whose lives were taken at the former Kamloops residential school and all Indigenous children who never made it home, the survivors, and their families, I have asked that the Peace Tower flag and flags on all federal buildings be flown at half-mast.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 30, 2021The discovery has spurred “a collective pain and trauma” for Indigenous communities across Canada, while also fuelling calls for concrete government action to address historical and ongoing rights abuses against First Nations, Métis and Inuit.In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada concluded the country committed “cultural genocide” with its decades-long residential school system.Between the 1870s and 1990s, more than 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend the schools, which were run by churches and aimed to forcibly assimilate Indigenous children into white Canadian society.The children were separated from their families and barred from speaking Indigenous languages, and many experienced physical, psychological and sexual abuse, among other forms of mistreatment.Founded in 1890 and run by the Catholic Church, the Kamloops Indian Residential School eventually became the largest school in Canada’s residential school system, counting 500 children at its enrollment peak in the early 1950s.“There is so much grief and trauma from the horrific news of the 215 children’s bodies being found,” opposition New Democratic Party parliament member Charlie Angus said on Twitter on Sunday.

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