I Want To

Flags at Half Mast in mourning of residential school discovery

2021-05-29   “By now, you’ve all become aware of the news about the discovery of the remains of 215 children on the grounds of the Tk’emlups First Nation site (formerly known as Kamloops Residential school).

As a sign of respect for our friends within the Secwepemc, and specifically within the Simpcw peoples, the District of Clearwater has lowered our flags to half mast for 215 hours, one hour in honour of every child discovered so far.  We are following the lead of the excellent folks on Merritt City Council who came up with this idea. I urge all local governments in the area to join us.

I am hopeful this will be the end of the discoveries. I am absolutely certain this is the beginning of a long journey to reconciliation and healing on this particular tragedy.  As far as I’m concerned, one hour is not enough time to honour each child who has been discovered so far in this unthinkable era of our shared history.  It is an acknowledgement of shared grief, it is a start, it is a small act of respect.

I know many of you have taken this tragedy to heart.  I ask all of you to take some time to contemplate the residential school story, to learn the history of it, to take the time to understand the long legacy of damage and heartbreak that it has left on our corner of the world.

Let’s not let the sadness of this pass without learning and growing from it.”

Sincerely, and with the deepest of sympathy,

Mayor Merlin Blackwell – on behalf of our entire council and the staff of the District of Clearwater