Statement on the discovery of the remains of 215 children at former residential school

May 31, 2021

Flags at all City of Spruce Grove facilities will be lowered today to honour the lives of 215 children that were discovered at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. The flags will remain lowered for 215 hours to honour and represent the life of each child.

“I, like many others in our community and our country, was deeply saddened when I heard the news about the discovery of the remains of these children at a former residential school site in Kamloops,” said Mayor Stuart Houston. “This is another devastating reminder of the terrible and long-lasting impact these schools had, and continue to have, on Indigenous communities.

“Spruce Grove is located on Treaty Six Territory and within the traditional lands of the nehiyawak, Blackfoot, Nakota, Anishinaabe, and Métis Peoples. On behalf of City Council and our entire community, I want to send our deepest sympathies to our Indigenous neighbours locally, and those across Canada who have been impacted by this discovery.

“We must acknowledge what happened in the residential schools as part of the ongoing work of reconciliation and we are committed to continuing to build relationships with our local Indigenous communities.”

Effective 11 a.m. on May 31, 2021, flags will be lowered to half-mast at all City facilities until June 9, 2021.

“There are residential school survivors in our community and the First Nation communities we work with,” said Mayor Houston. “The trauma from the residential school system continues to impact the well-being of Indigenous community members and First Nation, Métis, and Inuit communities across Canada.”

The National Indian Residential School Survivor Support Line provides support for former students and those affected. Emotional and crisis referral services can be accessed by calling the 24 hour national crisis line at 1-866-925-4419.