Durham Catholic students from Oshawa to Pickering planting thousands of flowers to honour residential school vicitims

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Published September 28, 2021 at 2:03 pm

As Canada prepares to honour the thousands of Indigenous children who died and suffered in its residential school system, the Durham Catholic School Board plans to plant thousands of flowers in their memory.

On September 30, Canada’s first official Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Durham Catholic School students will plant 25,000 tulips to honour the children of residential schools and their families. Each student and staff member will receive one bulb to plant.

The school board said they chose tulips, “since it returns every spring it can represent renewal, the eternal nature of the soul and refreshed perspectives.”

The board is also accepting donations toward The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society. The society is a non-profit founded in 1998 by Squamish First Nation devoted to helping First Nation youth.

Canada operated 130 residential total schools between the 1870’s and the 1990’s. The Catholic Church operated nearly three-quarters of them.

Over the course of 2021, more than 1,800 unmarked graves were discovered at school sites across the country. In its final report, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission estimates up to 6,000 children died.

 

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