On June 9th at 9:35am, the Canadian flag, which had been lowered for 215 hours at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Corner Brook, was again raised to full staff by cathedral wardens Katie Watton and Dennis Porter. This flag raising was part of a ceremony that commemorated the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were found in unmarked graves at a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.
Led by Indigenous representatives and Anglican clergy, a smudging ceremony, honour song, and prayer honouring the four directions were followed by the reading of a letter from Bishop John Organ, which included the August 6th, 1993, apology issued by then Primate Archbishop Michael Peers. Read by Diocesan Mi’kmaq liaison the Rev’d Tanya White, the apology acknowledged the role of the Anglican Church of Canada in the abuse of Indigenous children in residential schools.
The lives lost at Kamloops were also represented by 215 candles placed in a heart shape on the cathedral lawn. The ceremony concluded with the Penitential Rite and Absolution, and a prayer for peace and understanding.