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Peace Tower flag lowered on Canada Day to honour Indigenous children: Trudeau

Trudeau said he made the decision as he and many Canadians reflect on the tragedy of the institutions.
The Canadian flag on the Peace Tower flies at half-mast on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he asked that the national flag on the Peace Tower remain at half-mast for Canada Day to honour the Indigenous children who died in residential schools.

In a post on his Twitter account Wednesday, Trudeau said he made the decision as he and many Canadians reflect on the tragedy of the institutions.

Hours later, the Lower Kootenay Band in British Columbia said a search using ground-penetrating radar had found 182 human remains in unmarked graves at a site close to a former residential school in Cranbrook.

Cowessess First Nation last week said that ground-penetrating radar detected 751 unmarked graves at the former Marieval Indian Residential School east of Regina, Sask., a few weeks after the finding of what are believed to be the remains of 215 children in Kamloops, B.C.

Canadian Heritage plans to still go ahead with virtual Canada Day events like last year, with an online music show featuring English, French and Indigenous artists.

Several cities and communities across the country have decided to forgo parts of their usual Canada Day festivities.

Events will be partially or fully cancelled in Saint John, Fredericton, Victoria, Wilmot Township in Ontario’s Waterloo region, and St. Albert, a city northwest of Edmonton, in solidarity with mourning Indigenous communities.

Several communities in Yukon including Dawson City, Teslin, Carmacks and Haines Junction have also chosen to scrap celebrations in light of the discovery of unmarked graves at former residential schools.

Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press

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