The Assembly of First Nations has passed a motion calling for the orange ‘Every Child Matters’ flag to be flown alongside the Canadian flag in a proposed alternative to the national flag continuing to fly at half mast.
Norman Yakeleya, Dene National Chief and regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations, spoke of how meaningful that gesture would be.
“As the portfolio holder for Veterans Affairs, there’s no doubt that I have an appreciation for how important it is to be able to lower the flags on Remembrance Day to commemorate our veterans, to honor our people,” said Yakeleya. “However, as you know, Canada has flown the national flag at half mast — rightfully so — for the longest period of time in Canada’s history in recognition of the extraordinary sense of grief and loss caused by the recent residential school discoveries.”
He said the Assembly of First Nations wants the orange flag to be raised alongside the Canadian flag until all Indigenous children’s remains are recovered, named and “returned to their homeland physically or symbolically with proper traditional ceremonies.”
Yakeleya put pressure on the Government of Canada to be true to its word.
“The federal government has repeatedly committed to advancing the work on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s… calls to action, including one calling for the creation of a national monument in Ottawa to honor the residential school survivors and all the children who never returned home,” he said. “The government also stated that it will approach the National Council of Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) to find a place in Parliament to raise the orange NCTR Every Child Matters survivors flag.”