The tri-communities of La Ronge, Air Ronge and the Lac La Ronge Indian Band have all lowered their flags to half-mast to honour the lives of the 215 children found in a mass grave site on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, B.C.

The town of La Ronge announced Sunday that they had lowered the flags and that they’d stay there for 215 hours, one hour for each child found in the grave.

La Ronge town councillor and Lac La Ronge Indian Band member Jordan McPhail says the town lowered its flags to show support.

“When we heard about the 215 children that were found in Kamloops, we were seeing that a good way of showing solidarity with the families and honouring those lives lost, those children lost, would (be to) lower our flags to half-mast.”

McPhail says as an Indigenous person, to see the town’s flags lowered shows the town is listening.

“For me personally, it’s a great message,” he said. “Although not all of us around the council table are Indigenous, to have the support of fellow councillors and knowing that this time may be tough for many Indigenous people, (shows) that our local leadership is willing to stand by us, hear us, listen to us and help support us through what can be a very tough time.”

This move follows many other communities around the country doing the same.

The flags in La Ronge are outside the town office, the Band’s are outside the band office, while the flags for Air Ronge are within their council chambers.

(PHOTO: The flags in front of the Town of La Ronge offices will fly at half-mast for 215 hours. Photo by Sam Campling.)