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B.C. raises Survivors’ Flag to honour National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Speaker says Survivors’ Flag welcome at a building that has been a physical symbol of colonialism
BC Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau, (left to right) BC United MLA Michael Lee, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Murray Rankin, MLA Joan Phillips and MLA Raj Chouhan raise the Survivors’ Flag to honour the hundreds of children who never returned home from residential schools, during a ceremony at the legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Sept. 25, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Fresh fall winds helped mark a flag-raising ceremony today at the British Columbia legislature honouring residential school survivors and remembering children who never came home.

The orange and white Survivors’ Flag will be flown at the front lawn of the legislature until sundown on Saturday, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Indigenous leaders and politicians representing B.C.’s New Democrats, BC United and Greens participated in the flag-raising ceremony ahead of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation when the flag will be flown at federal, provincial and municipal buildings across Canada.

Raj Chouhan, Speaker of the legislature, says he is committed to ensuring the legislature is a welcoming, inclusive place for everybody.

He says the Survivors’ Flag is a welcome sign to a legislature building that has been a physical symbol of colonialism where politicians have enacted laws that caused harm to Indigenous people in B.C.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, says the raising of the Survivors’ Flag at the legislature is a historic moment representing equal treatment for all people.

“We are here today to remember, to commemorate, to honour and to mourn the loss of our little angels who did not come home from residential school,” he said.

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