MISSISSAUGA — A city in the GTA will officially raise the Every Child Matters flag this year and will keep it there on a permanent basis.
City of Mississauga officials announced the flag will be raised at the Mississauga Civic Centre on Wednesday in ceremony at Mississauga Celebration Square. The event will be live-streamed online.
The flag raising was one recommendation implemented as part of the city’s annual reconciliation report and land acknowledgement renewal.
In November 2021, the city adopted other recommendations from the report recognizing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to implement changes from UNDRIP and the UNDRIP Act and to continually renew land acknowledgements shared at committee meetings.
“This is more than the raising of a very important flag – it’s a symbol of Mississauga’s commitment to never forget the Indigenous lives that were lost at former residential school across Canada,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “It strengthens our resolve to do more for the Indigenous communities that have shaped Canada’s history.”
For more than 150 years, First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation children were taken from their families and communities to attend schools which were often located far from their homes. More than 150,000 children attended Indian Residential Schools.
“The residential school system was one of the darkest chapter in Canadian history, and it’s so important that every resident makes efforts to truly understand the suffering that was experienced and continues to be felt today by survivors and their families,” added Mayor Crombie. “Raising the Every Child Matters flag is a reminder of those children who never made it home. We are forever grateful to the survivors who continue to share their stories today.”
“On behalf of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN) Chief and Council, we are proud to join the City of Mississauga as they raise the Every Child Matters flag. This is to honour and respect the Indigenous children who attended residential schools, and offer love and support to their families,” said Chief R. Stacey Laforme, MCFN. “It is important we stand united, for these are not Indigenous children, they are all our children, the children of this land. We must never forget this moment in time. In their memory, we will do better, we will be better.”
The flag raising event will include comments from Kim Wheatley from Shawanaga First Nation, Stacey Laforme and Mayor Crombie.