Gathering Local Stories From Residential School Survivors

Opinion250 News (Prince George, British Columbia, Canada), March 11, 2006


Between 1892 and 1969, residential schools operated in Canada through arrangements between the Government of Canada and the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, United and Presbyterian churches. Although the Government was no longer officially involved after 1969, a few schools and hostels continued to operate into the 1970s and 1980s. Akaitcho Hall in Yellowknife did not close until 1996. One common objective defined this period-the assimilation of Aboriginal children.

Over the decades, thousands of Aboriginal children across Canada-First Nation, Métis and Inuit-passed through these schools. Some graduated with useful skills, while many became self-destructive as a result of the physical, sexual and mental abuse that was inflicted upon them.

The Aboriginal Healing Foundation has been gathering survivor stories and has created a web site Where are the Children? as well as a traveling exhibition. Both present the history, experiences and stories of the children in residential schools throughout Canada, by means of archival photographs, historical documents and personal experiences.

Subjects Covered: diversity training, education, personal storytelling

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