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Lheidli T’enneh Ends 215-Day Mourning Period with Memorial Flag Raising at Town Hall

Lheidli T’enneh hoisted a new flag at Prince George City Hall in remembrance of the foundlings at the former Kamloops residential school and the thousands more found in residential schools across the country last year.

At the beginning of June, the chief and council of Lheidli T’enneh asked all his partners who fly the Lheidli T’enneh flag to put them at half mast for a period of 215 days.

January 4, 2022 marks the end of this 215-day period and Lheidli T’enneh held a special ceremony to hoist his new flag which features an orange ribbon in the lower right corner.

“The shock of hearing about 215 graves at Kamloops Residential School shocked First Nations and non-First Nations alike,” said Darlene McIntosh, Elder of Lheildi T’enneh, during an opening prayer in the room. of the council before raising the flag.

“When our people expressed what had happened to our beautiful children, they were looked down upon and were not believed. Do you believe it now? It is so difficult to understand this unspeakable tragedy. Residential schools are a painful reminder of a dark and shameful chapter in our country’s history. We are still tormented, traumatized and empty, experiencing the intergenerational trauma that still has not been healed. “

McIntosh prayed for a strong commitment from everyone in raising awareness about the shameful past that Indigenous people have endured.

“Today, we raise a new commemorative flag as we continue our journey to never forget the tragedy that shook the world 215 days ago.”

Lheidli T’enneh leader Dolleen Logan also gave a moving speech on the raising of the flag.

“Today, as we raise our new flags on the main pole, I ask everyone to take five minutes to find out more about what really happened at residential schools. The orange ribbon on our flag will serve as a constant reminder to those children and their families and communities who will never be forgotten. We will never be able to forget the children who never made it home.

Mayor Hall said the past 215 days have been a learning journey to better understand history and what we collectively need to do for a better future.

“215 days ago, on June 2, 2021, we gathered at this very location to honor and recognize the 215 Anonymous Graves of the Former Kamloops Residential School. Canada that this is a national tragedy, ”Hall said.

“When the flags are half-masted it is an indication that something important has happened, in this case it recognizes the sorrow of the discovery of 215 anonymous graves and is a symbol for the whole community of our recognition and our remembrance of this horrible discovery. Raising the flag today is not and should not mark the end of recognition, but a continuation of learning, understanding and creating a path of reconciliation.