As of six o'clock on June 9, 2021, the St. James-Assiniboia School Division concluded the lowering of its flags at all of our schools for 215 hours in honour of the 215 children lives lost on the site of a former residential school in British Columbia. On the evening of June 8, Cheryl Smukowich, Chair of the Board of Trustees, led the St. James-Assiniboia School Board in a moment of silence in recognition of their memory.
"Out of remembrance for the 215 children whose remains have been found at the former Kamloops residential school and with respect for all those affected, we will now pause for a moment of reflection, which will be 2 minutes and 15 seconds," said Smukowich.
Many activities have taken place within the school division as students and staff show their respect and learn about the history of the residential schools in Canada.
At Stevenson, George Waters and St. James-Collegiate, they made a garden of hearts inspired by Dr. Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada.
Orange ribbons were attached to the school fence at Ecole Assiniboine, and orange hearts were attached to the school division board office fence.
Orange shirts were worn by students at home learning and teachers in classrooms to recognize that 'Orange Shirt Day' on September 30 isn't the only day we can have conversations about residential schools.
As people come together, in all parts of the country, to mourn the lives of these children, the knowledge of residential schools continues to be learned and shared.