Flags across the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows school district will be lowered to half mast to mark Truth and Reconciliation Week.
On Thursday school board chair Korleen Carreras and superintendent of school Harry Dhillon, made the announcement in a letter on the district’s website. Flags at all facilities will be lowered for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 1 and they are also asking students and staff to wear orange.
“This year has been particularly difficult for Indigenous people across Canada,” said the pair in reference to the remains of 215 Indigenous children discovered in unmarked graves by the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc First Nation at a former residential school in Kamloops – and the numerous other sites across the country where suspected graves have been located.
“We ask students, staff, and families to use this opportunity to reflect on the profound injustice of residential schools and ensure that the intergenerational trauma suffered by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit families is not forgotten,” they said.
the district is committed to creating safe spaces for healing for Indigenous students and staff, Carreras and Dhillon continued, saying they want to ensure all students of ancestry are provided with the support and care they need.
“Through education, awareness, and understanding, our district can learn from the rich cultural history of the First Peoples of Canada and make certain that the human rights abuses associated with forced assimilation are not forgotten.”
Families are being encouraged to check out resources on the Aboriginal Education Department website.
Sept. 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, has been designated a statutory holiday by the Canadian government.
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