The federal government raised the Survivors’ Flag on Parliament Hill today as a way to honour Indigenous peoples forced to attend residential schools.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was joined by Stephanie Scott, executive director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller, Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal and survivors of residential schools from across the country.
Trudeau called residential schools a “shameful” part of Canadian history and says the Survivors’ Flag would serve as a way for Canadians to remember what happened at the government-funded, church-operated institutions over more than a century.
The flag was designed in consultation and collaboration with survivors, with each element of the design approved by the group that was consulted.
Last year, ground-penetrating radar located what are believed to be hundreds of unmarked graves on the grounds of former residential schools, sparking efforts to remember survivors.
The flag will remain raised on Parliament Hill until 2024, when it will be moved to a permanent home.