Flags are flying at half-mast at municipal, provincial, territorial and federal buildings across the country, but there are calls to do more to honour the 215 children whose remains were found at a former residential school in B-C.

There are also calls for governments to use ground-penetrating radar to find similar gravesites at other schools across the country.

First Nations teacher Rick Joe says the discovery of the remains is a triggering event for students who regularly learn about the history of wrongs against Indigenous people.

Raymond Mason, an Ojibway activist who campaigns for the rights of residential school survivors and a founder of Spirit Wind, an organization that played a key role in the development of the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement knows all too well the effects residential schools can have. 

At the age of eight, Mason was taken from his home in Peguis First Nation and sent to a residential school. He would stay there until the day he turned 18 years old.

"The Indian agent and an RCMP officer came to my home to take me away from my parents," Mason explains. "It was very traumatic. I remember my mom hanging on to me,  screaming and yelling and trying to fight with the Indian agent and the officer."

He says they grabbed him and put him onto a Grey Goose bus. He had nothing with him and had no clue where they were taking him.

"It was like I was a prisoner from that day on," says Mason.

It wasn't until he was 18 years old that he was able to leave.

Raymond is just one of the 150,000 Indigenous children who were taken from their families and forced into Indian day and residential schools. 

He has now written a book about his experience, Spirit of the Grassroots People: Seeking Justice for Indigenous Survivors of Canada's Colonial Education System. 

A riveting and at times harrowing story, Raymond Mason describes his experiences in Indian day and residential schools in Manitoba and his struggles to find meaning in life after trauma and abuse.

Today on Connections, Raymond shares his unbelievable story of survival.