The City of Kelowna is set to raise Canadian flags outside of its buildings on Wednesday evening after they were lowered to half-mast for 215 hours.
The city lowered the flags to honour the 215 Indigenous children buried in undocumented graves at a former Kamloops residential school.
Communities across Canada have chosen to mark the confirmation of this long-suspected tragic legacy by counting each hour for each lost innocent life in Kamloops, knowing the discovery of more undocumented burial sites is possible across Canada in the months and years ahead.
“The number 215 will be forever etched in our collective memory,” said Mayor Colin Basran.
“The shameful history of residential schools is well known by now, but the discovery in Kamloops has re-emphasized the importance and need to advance reconciliation with indigenous peoples across Canada.”
Council has asked for a report from staff on progress and next steps in the city’s reconciliation journey with First Nation friends and neighbours. At the heart of that work is a commitment to the ongoing work to establish and maintain respectful relationships.
“At the City of Kelowna, we are seizing this moment to energize our work toward reconciliation and build on the steps we’ve already taken with the guidance of Okanagan/Syilx educators along this path,” said Basran.