SASKATOON -- The City of Saskatoon’s flags will be lowered to half-mast at 9 a.m. on Thursday to honour the children found in unmarked graves at the former Marieval Indian Residential School on Cowessess First Nation.

“This brings the horrific truth of these schools right to our doorstep,” Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark said in a news release.

“Many of these children will have had direct relatives who now live in Saskatoon. They are the missing children that families have been trying to find over the decades.

“We must support Chief Delorme and the Cowessess community, the survivors and family members of Marieval Residential School students. I cannot imagine the pain and grief people are feeling. We must hold it in our own hearts with them.”

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations said in a news release Wednesday that “the number of unmarked graves will be the most significantly substantial to date in Canada.”

Cowessess First Nation is scheduled to make an official announcement and provide more details Thursday morning.

Clark said he has attended the annual Cowesses First Nations Christmas supper for Saskatoon band members and seen the vibrancy and warmth of the community.

“As we digest this devastating news, we must move to action and commit to right the wrongs of our country and work together towards Truth and Reconciliation,” he said.

“The City is committed to this work and lowering the flags is only one action we will be taking to support the community at this time.”