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Luther mourns death of Indigenous children

Along with our Indigenous neighbours and all Canadians, Martin Luther University College mourns the deaths of 215 children whose mass grave was recently found on the grounds of the former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.  

“While we have long known about the harms inflicted by Canada’s residential school system, the discovery of these children’s grave is especially heart-breaking,” said Rev. Dr. Kristine Lund, the school’s principal-dean. “Each one of these children had a mother and father, grandparents and friends, and probably siblings, aunts and uncles. 

“We look forward to learning their names, and to the return of their remains to their families if that is what they choose.” 

In addition to this recent discovery, Lund said faculty and staff mourn the death of every child who perished in the colonial residential school system.  

“We extend our sincere condolences to Indigenous families as we continue our work toward friendship-building and reconciliation with our Indigenous neighbours,” Lund said. 

As a demonstration of respect, the school has hung orange-coloured shirts in front of its main campus entrance. Orange shirts have become a symbol to commemorate the residential school experience and for communities to gather in the spirit of reconciliation. The shirts installed in front of Luther will remain hanging for 215 hours.

In light of last week's discovery in Kamloops, Luther is also adding its voice to those calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Government of Canada to recognize a national day of mourning. 

Martin Luther University College in Waterloo, Ont., Canada, is the founding institution of Wilfrid Laurier University, and resides on the Haldimand tract, traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishnaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples.

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