School District 8 – Kootenay Lake wears orange, lowers flags, and provides resources to staff

School District 8 – Kootenay Lake is encouraging all to wear the colour orange this week in honour of all Indigenous children who were forced into the residential school system. 

“Last week's news of the discovery of the mass grave of 215 children at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School is a heartbreaking confirmation that many of the Indigenous children who suffered in the residential school system never returned to their homes and families. We offer our heartfelt condolences to the Tk'emlu?ps te Secwe?pemc First Nation and all First Nations communities in BC and Canada, who have been impacted by the deep, intergenerational harm of residential schools,” says Board Chair, Lenora Trenaman. 

We also know there are survivors of residential schools and members of the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation living in our district. Our hearts go out to you. We acknowledge your stories. We see your resilience. We are in awe of your strength. We send you love. 

To honour the children, and their families, all schools will lower flags to half-mast until further notice. 

District Principal Higginbottom, Danica Weager, Jesse Halton, and Hannah Lunn from the district’s Aboriginal Education department have coordinated resources for schools to utilize. 

This week: Thank you to all schools for wearing orange shirts and for lowering the flags. Flags will stay at half-mast for 215 hours (approximately 9 days). 

On Friday - At whatever time in the day that works for each school, one minute of silence to remember will be held. 

Next week: From June 7th to June 11th, School District 8 – Kootenay Lake students and staff will be gathering through the virtual wuqanqankimik Reconciliation Run Walk. This will be an opportunity to move forward together! 

Counselling is available throughout the district at schools and through the district, as well as, through the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is 1-866-925-4419. 

For further information to learn more about what you can do to engage in reconciliation, we encourage all to reference the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's 94 Calls to Action

For more information, contact: 

District Principal of Aboriginal Education: Gail.higginbottom@sd8.bc.ca 

Superintendent: Christine.perkins@sd8.bc.ca 

Chair of Board of education: Lenora.trenaman@sd8.bc.ca 


About the Board of Education of School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake): 

The Board of Education of School District No. 8 provides educational services to numerous diverse communities in the East & West Kootenays, including Crawford Bay, Creston, Kaslo, Meadow Creek, Nelson, Salmo, Slocan, South Slocan, Winlaw, Wynndel and Yahk. Its dedicated team focuses on providing the best possible educational opportunities for over 5,400 students and their families. Its mission is to focus on excellence for all learners in a nurturing environment.