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Williams Lake flags flying at half-mast in honour of St. Joseph’s Mission findings

Mayor Walt Cobb said city’s thoughts are with affected families, communities
Flags are flying at half-mast outside Williams Lake city hall including a Sécwépemc flag in acknowledgement of the announcement by Williams Lake First Nation Tuesday, Jan. 25 regarding 93 possible human burials at the former site of St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Before the regular council meeting got underway Tuesday, Jan. 25, Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb acknowledged the findings at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School released earlier in the day by Williams Lake First Nation.

“We are flying the Shuswap (Sécwépemc) flag along with our other flags at half-mast in respect to the findings,” Cobb said. “As indicated by the discussion today, Chief Willie Sellars says ‘this is just the beginning,’ and indications are it’s going to be a long process.”

Cobb said the city’s thoughts are with the families and communities affected by the results and offers any assistance it may be able provide.

Earlier Tuesday, WLFN shared information outlining that during the Phase one geophysical investigation, the St. Joseph’s Mission team surveyed approximately 14 hectares of the broader 480-hectare site using GPR technology.

All reflections in the GPR data have been marked and reviewed through a rigorous quality control process.

To date, the GPR found 93 reflections that have been recorded at the former St. Joseph’s Mission. The characteristics of these reflections are indicative of potential human burials.

During the regular meeting city council approved an in-camera report indicating councillors Marnie Brenner, Ivan Bonnell and Scott Nelson have been appointed to council’s Indigenous Reconciliation and Relations Committee.

The councillors also shared some of their own thoughts on the day’s announcement during the meetings roundtable.

READ MORE: ‘93 is our number’: WLFN reveals St. Joseph’s Mission preliminary findings

READ MORE: WLFN chief prepares for former residential school investigation announcement

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Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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