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215 Indigenous Children



215 Indigenous children lost their lives; families lost their children; and their communities lost the blossom of their future. The lives of these children were taken at the former Kamloops residential school. The children's 215 bodies were found in a mass grave. This loss is staggering. Flags will fly at half-mast for the duration of 215 hours - until June 8, 2021.


As an Officer of the Court and as a mother, I am ashamed of my country's history. Children no different from my own were taken from their families. So many never made it home. Residential school survivors and their communities have carried this burden too long. We all have a role in sharing it. In my family, we will attempt to atone for this atrocity in the following ways:

  1. Continue the important conversation at my dinner table on the cultural genocide committed by Canada through the Residential School Regime.

  2. Continue to educate one another on the injustices experienced by Indigenous peoples in Canada and around the world.

  3. Build courage in my children to be effective allies and advocate on issues of equity, equality, and anti-racism.

  4. Read the book Shin-Chi's Canoe tonight, by Nicola I. Campbell, and ask what obligations we have as Canadians to one another:

  5. What do our families and loved ones do to keep us safe and healthy?

  6. What does our city/country do to keep us safe and healthy?

  7. What should Canada do to honour the lives of these 215 children and so many more who never made it home?

  8. Place a teddy bear on our porch and leave the porch light on at 6 p.m., as per the request of the Anishinabek Nation.

  9. Challenge myself and my colleagues to always do better by Canada's most vulnerable.

Given that these children were stolen from their families and their bodies were never returned, it is the least we can do to show them the dignity they deserve.


Katie Black

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