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LivingFlags return to full-mast at sunset

Flags return to full-mast at sunset

STATEMENT FROM THE MAYOR
Flags return to full-mast at sunset

November 7, 2021

On Friday, Canadian Heritage and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada released a joint statement providing details about the Canada flag returning to full mast: www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/news/2021/11/joint-statement-by-canadian-heritage-and-crown-indigenous-relations-and-northern-affairs-canada-as-the-national-flag-of-canada-returns-to-full-mast.html

In Mississippi Mills, we have followed the direction of the Prime Minister and the Federal government with respect to the masting of flags at municipal facilities.
Across the county, the Canadian flag was lowered to half-mast on May 30th after unmarked graves were discovered at a former residential school in Kamloops. The National Flag has remained at half-mast for the longest period of time in Canada’s history in memory of all Indigenous children who never came home, to honour the survivors of residential schools and their families who continue to bear witness to these tragedies, and to recognize the extraordinary loss and impact to Indigenous peoples across the country.

Following the federal government’s protocol, flags at all municipal facilities will return to full-mast tonight at sunset. Flags will be lowered at sunrise tomorrow in honour of Indigenous Veterans Day and will be raised again at sunrise on Tuesday, November 9. Flags will be lowered on Thursday, November 11 in honour of Remembrance Day.
In their statement, the federal government also noted that the Canada flag will be half-masted to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation every September 30 (Call to Action 80), that work is moving forward with the commissioning and installation of a national monument in Ottawa to honour residential school victims and survivors (Call to Action 81), that the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation Survivor’s Flag will fly in the Parliamentary Precinct (with the Centre’s permission), and that the federal government will endeavour to accelerate carrying out the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Locally, an annual Land Acknowledgement and dedication to Indigenous Peoples has been included in our procedural bylaw. Council recognized September 30th as National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Call to Action #80) and have waived the administrative fee for commissioning documents for residential school survivors and their families who wish to reclaim their names changed by the residential school system (Call to Action #17). Staff have been directed to develop an education plan for Council and staff (Call to Action #47) and Council has included an Indigenous Working Group as part of the Mississippi Mills Bicentennial Planning Committee. As Mayor, I have been honoured to meet with Indigenous people and leaders in Mississippi Mills, Lanark County and in neighbouring areas in effort to build understanding and renew friendships.

But, there is much more work to do – for all of us to do. We are at the beginning of a journey towards learning, understanding and reconciliation where we all share responsibility. If you have not already, I encourage you to read:

🔶 The Ten Guiding Principles of Truth and Reconciliation:
www.justice.gc.ca/eng/csj-sjc/principles-principes.html
🔶 The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action:
www.irsss.ca/downloads/trc-calls-to-action.pdf

For former residential school students, there is a National Crisis Line if you need to talk or require emotional and crisis referral services. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please call 1-866-925-4419 or visit the Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program website: www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1581971225188/1581971250953.

Hope for Wellness provides immediate, culturally competent crisis intervention and support for all Indigenous Peoples. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please call 1-855-242-3310 or chat online at www.hopeforwellness.ca.

Sincerely,

Mayor Christa Lowry

 

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