VANCOUVER -- Canadian flags across B.C., including those at the legislature and in the City of Vancouver, will be lowered to half-mast on Sunday after the discovery of unmarked graves at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops.

The flag at the B.C. Legislature has been lowered “until further notice,” to honour every child whose life was tragically taken.

A statement on Twitter reads, “This half-masting is also in memory of the thousands of children who were sent to residential schools, for those who never returned, and in honour of the families whose lives were forever changed by the Indian residential school system.”

Flags at Vancouver civic buildings will also be lowered for 215 hours, until sunset on Mon. June 7. A representative with the City of Vancouver says the flag atop City Hall will be lowered by noon Sunday, and other flags may be lowered on Monday, depending on location.

The federal government will also be flying flags on all federal buildings at half-mast, after a request from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation announced Thursday the remains of 215 children had been discovered at the site of a former residential school. They were found over the Victoria Day long weekend using a ground-penetrating radar.

Survivors of the residential school system are now calling for accountability.

Crisis line support for Indigenous people, including residential school survivors and their families is available. See a list of resources here.


A previous version of this story used the term "mass grave" instead of "unmarked graves."