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As a school district that strongly believes in working towards truth and reconciliation and our continued work in becoming culturally responsive, this is horrific news that we know may have an impact on our students, staff and communities,” said superintendent Shelley Green. “We encourage you to reach out to those in your circle and check in to see how they are doing and seek support if required.”
The discovery of the remains is a reminder of the past injustices to Indigenous children, their families, and communities, said Sharon Klein, head of school at independent St. Margaret’s School. To honour them, students and staff are encouraged to wear orange shirts and the school is lowering the Canadian flag to half-mast “until further notice” as a sign of respect.
“During this difficult and tragic time, please stay connected to one another,” Klein wrote to school community members. “Let us join our hands and hearts to courageously persist in creating an equitable and just world.”
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada says large numbers of Aboriginal children sent to residential schools never returned to their home communities; some ran away while others died at the schools.
The students who did not return have come to be known as the “missing children.” The Missing Children Project is documenting the deaths and the burial places of children who died while attending the residential schools and thus far has identified the names of, or information about, just over 4,100 children who died of disease or accident while attending a residential school.
— With files from The Canadian Press