School District 71 is taking actions in the wake of the Kamloops Residential School discovery.
 
After news of the remains of 215 Indigenous children found at the site of the former Kamloops Residential School, the district says it has “embarked on a number of actions to share our grief and demonstrate our commitment to reconciliation.”
Every school in the school district has committed to participate in the National Legacy School Program (Downie Wenjack Fund).
 
“Over the past two years, we have seen many projects that focus on educating students around the history of residential schools in our country and committing to ReconcilliACTIONs to express their support,” the district said in a release.
This week, the district said this commitment was amplified.
 
Among the actions taken by schools across the Comox Valley include:
 
– tying 215 orange ribbons to school fences,
– colouring 215 feathers orange and displaying them prominently in the schools,
– painting 215 orange rocks and placing them in school gardens,
– reading and studying The Secret Path by Gord Downie and other Indigenous publications, and
– having age-appropriate discussions with students regarding residential schools, reconciliation, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.
 
The district says it has also welcomed its Ni’noxsola (Elders in Residence) back into many of our schools to provide their calming presence with students and staff.
 
“It is our greatest hope that this tragic discovery becomes a catalyst to move us forward on our path to meaningful action and true reconciliation,” SD71 said.
 
“Our thoughts go out to all our Indigenous families at this time.”