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This weekend, the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association will host a conference at Algoma University's Shingwauk Hall to celebrate that fact.
The three-day conference will examine Indian residential schools and their aftermath and is expected to bring together First Nations community leaders native associations and the public.
On Monday night (Jun. 27) Northwest Territories leaders rallied former Indian residential schools students around a common theme of hope, strength and moving toward a better future as they welcomed them to the northern event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).
An update on a class action lawsuit by former day school students was given June 11 at the Nishnawbe Aski Nation Residential School Gathering in Thunder Bay.
“We’ve got over 10,000 people registered for the day school class action now,” said Joan Jack, a lawyer who launched the McLean Day School Class Action lawsuit in 2009 against the federal government.
An amendment to the claim later allowed other day school students from across Canada to potentially join the lawsuit.
Hundreds of residential school survivors are travelling to Inuvik, N.W.T., for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's second national event, which officially begins Tuesday.
Between 850 and 1,000 former residential school students and others across northern Canada are expected to attend the Inuvik gathering, which runs until Friday.
Organizers in Inuvik say people have been starting to arrive by plane, road, and even by canoe, as early as last week.
Former residential school students were given a chance to share their stories during Nishnawbe Aski Nation’s Residential School Gathering June 11-12 in Thunder Bay.
Stories of abuse and the negative effects from assimilation for residential school survivors will be heard next week when the Northern national event comes to Inuvik for four days.
The rights of Canada's aboriginals underwent a significant change last week as First Nations people came under the protections of the Human Rights Act.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) has attracted a variety of volunteers to its event for former Indian residential schools students in the Northwest Territories.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada has a new name -Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada - that is getting mixed reviews.
Bevington (Western Arctic MP) said the government should have consulted with all interested parties before choosing a name, and suggested 'Indigenous People' would have been a better option.
INUVIK - Stories of abuse and the negative effects from assimilation for residential school survivors will be heard next week when the Northern national event comes to Inuvik for four days.
John Banksland, an Inuvialuit elder originally from Ulukhaktok and living in Inuvik, attended the Immaculate Conception residential school in Aklavik for 11 years before attending Yellowknife's Akaitcho Hall for four. The hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation event will help survivors exorcise the abuse they received at the schools.
"There are a lot of survivors in their 60s, 70s, 80s, even 90s who have been carrying this around for years and years," Banksland said. "It's the negative stuff they've been carrying around and this is part of the healing process. It's a long process."
VANCOUVER, June 22 (Xinhua) -- National Aboriginal Day kicked off the start of the Celebrate Canada festivities as the 11-day nationwide festival recognizes and promotes the ethnic diversity of this vast country.
While the festival, which culminates on July 1, Canada's national day, includes such events as Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day on Friday, honoring the patron saint of French Canadians, and Multiculturalism Day on Sunday, National Aboriginal Day is arguably the most significant of them all.
Starting from the 19th century and lasting until 1996, about 150,000 aboriginal children were taken from their families and sent to church-run residential schools with the belief that the best way to assimilate them was for them to learn English, adopt Christianity and Canadian customs.
The experiment proved a massive failure with families torn apart, allegations of sexual abuse, and widespread alcoholism among those affected.
Last June the Truth and Reconciliation Commission held a huge gathering at The Forks. Indian Residential School survivors were invited to come and tell their stories - this is the truth part. Among the survivors were politicians, church representatives and other school employees - that's the reconciliation part.
I was there to witness an afternoon of story sharing and recorded these emotionally distressing stories for the radio series ReVision Quest. It was an incredibly draining day listening to stories of children as young as five being torn away from their parents and their communities, children being beaten for speaking their language, the affect effects of not being loved and not knowing how to love as an adult.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) will host its Northern National Event in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, June 28th to July 1st.
RE: A holocaust for Canada's First Nations, Letter, June 17
I am shocked and overwhelmed by this letter. Our churches and governments are responsible, and we are responsible if we do not acknowledge the terrible crimes committed in order to take land and repress a culture that we could have learned from. The results for everyone are shame, sorrow and untold pain for our native peoples for generations to come. We must remember before we can forget.
Nancy Oreopoulos, Toronto
The TRC was created as a result of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement negotiated among lawyers for former students, the four churches, the Government of Canada, the Assembly of First Nations and other Aboriginal organizations. It was officially established on June 1, 2008 and has a five year mandate.
It is committed to holding 7 “national events” throughout Canada, and facilitating many community events. It will hear stories of the full range of IRS experiences, in order to record and archive the history, as well as encourage right relations.
REGINA Kamao Cappo is taking action to save the Saulteaux.
On June 25, he's hosting a two day Saulteaux Language Immersion Camp on the Muscowpetung First Nation.
In residential school, parents and grandparents were forced to learn English and that's when the language began dying, he explained.
"My grandmother is an example of that; she suffered so much abuse because of her language that she would not teach her children," said Cappo.
It's a sad part of history that needs to be rectified, he said. Cappo believes taking back the language is one way to right that wrong.
The last place one would expect to see a sweat lodge destroyed is in a native community. Yet that is what happened in Oujé-Bougoumou, a predominantly Christian Cree village 725 kilometres north of Montreal. Instead of helping heal, the sweat lodge exposed a rift between Christian teachings and a younger generation’s embrace of once-taboo native practices.
Now Mr. Mianscum has retained high-profile Montreal human-rights lawyer Julius Grey to fight his case on the basis of his religious freedoms.
The conflict underscores the complicated legacy of the Christian church among Canadian aboriginals, from residential schools to the missionaries who tried to suppress traditional ceremonies associated with shamanism.
Siksika Nation celebrated the National Day of Healing and Reconciliation on June 11, a celebration that is anticipated to become a yearly event. The day’s significance was to begin a recovery process to overcome the brutalities that members of the Siksika Nation have endured while attending past residential schools.
Saturday marked the three-year anniversary of the Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s apology, on behalf of Canadians, to the 150,000 aboriginals who suffered in this country’s residential school system.
To honour the apology and to continue to move forward and understand the history and tragedy many experienced, people in the Battlefords and across Canada gathered to celebrate National Day of Healing and Reconciliation.
Hundreds of First Nations children who disappeared after being taken from their homes to attend residential schools from 1870 to the mid-1900s is a “big surprise for me,” said Murray Sinclair, the Manitoba judge who is chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Your article says that the number of deaths is in the hundreds, when estimates have been as high as 60 per cent of the 150,000 children who were kidnapped and savaged. In 1909, Dr. Peter Bryce, general medical superintendent for Indian Affairs reported to the ministry that between 1894-1908, the mortality rate in western Canadian residential schools was between 35 per cent and 60 per cent.
The statistic, which became public in 1922, means that between 52,500 and 90,000 children are unaccounted for. Do we all really naively believe they died of natural causes? Mass graves have already been discovered. It is our holocaust. We want to bring the bones of our ancestors home.
Canadian Inuit leaders have issued a national education strategy that aims to raise graduation rates among young Inuit, only a quarter of whom finish high school.
The National Strategy on Inuit Education calls for more Inuktitut language use in schools, and recommends that Inuit parents get more involved in their children's education.
"This strategy is a blueprint for the education system that we want," Mary Simon, president of the national Inuit organization Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, told reporters Thursday in Ottawa.
Simon, who chaired the committee that developed the strategy, said formal education was foisted on Inuit through Canada's residential school system during much of the 20th century.
But given that Prime Minister Stephen Harper formally apologized in 2008 for the residential school system's impacts on aboriginal children, Simon said Inuit must work on making today's education system better for Inuit.
What happened to Canada's First Nations children in the residential schools is one of the greatest injustices perpetrated in our nation's history.
But there is another group who has not been included in this acknowledgement of past wrongs.
These are the students of the former Indian day schools.
These children were allowed to return to their homes at night, but during the day they suffered under the same yoke of oppression, fear and brutality that their peers in residential schools did.
Members of Stoney Nakoda Nation will be gathering at the Bearspaw Youth Centre June 11 for a feast to honour the National Day of Healing and Reconciliation.
“We decided we wanted to do something here in the community,” said Eagle Nest’s Stoney Family Shelter director Nora-Lee Rear.
On June 11, 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a historic apology to Aboriginals across Canada for the infamous residential school system put in place by the federal government to eradicate their culture.
The great gathering of B.C. First Nations elders is returning to the same tribal grounds of the Sto:lo Nation in Abbotsford 35 years after the first meeting.
The gathering has been held in different parts of B.C. every July since, the last one drawing 2,500 people to the Secwepemc Nation in Salmon Arm.
Millie Silver, a 73-year-old local elder, says it all began in 1977 with the Coqualeetza elders.
“[It] was a chance for them to get together to share our culture and traditional ways – our songs and our dances – and just share in each other’s stories.”
Those stories include some dark moments in history. Many elders were forced into Indian residential schools, Silver says.
Joan Jack, the lawyer handling a class action suit aimed at securing restitution for students in Indian day schools across Canada, is coming to Duncan next week.
Although there has been a lot of publicity and some action to deal with the abuse suffered by countless young students at residential schools in Canada, those who claim they were abused while attending day schools feel they have not had the chance for justice. In 2009 a lawsuit was launched in Manitoba, which later expanded to include other people who attended Indian day schools in other parts of Canada.
Here on Vancouver Island, the Valley's Polly Jack has been coordinating a campaign to register former students as part of the class action suit.
OTTAWA, le 10 juin 2011 /CNW/ - Le Chef national de l'Assemblée des Premièrs Nations (APN), Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, a souligné aujourd'hui le troisième anniversaire de la présentation des excuses du gouvernement du Canada pour le système des pensionnats indiens, déclarant que l'éducation des Premières Nations est la pierre angulaire de la réconciliation entre les Premières Nations et tous les Canadiens.
There’s no exact tally, but hundreds of First Nations children disappeared after being taken from their homes to attend residential schools from 1870 to the mid-1990s.
That’s the most startling discovery for Murray Sinclair, the Manitoba judge who is chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission examining the effects of residential schools on First Nations communities.
“Missing children — that is the big surprise for me,” Sinclair said in an interview during a Toronto visit this week. “That such large numbers of children died at the schools. That the information of their deaths was not communicated back to their families.”
Commission staff are still gathering information on how many aboriginal students died while attending, or attempting to escape from, the church-run schools, but the number is believed to be somewhere in the hundreds.
(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo today honoured the three-year anniversary of the Government of Canada’s apology for the Indian residential school system, stating that First Nation education is a cornerstone of reconciliation between First Nations and all Canadians.
OTTAWA, ONTARIO (June 10, 2011) - The following statement was released today by the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development:
"June 11, 2011, marks the third anniversary of the Prime Minister's historic Apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools. The Apology represents a significant step towards healing and reconciliation and three years later, we have made tangible and real progress.
Our Government is determined to support true reconciliation with Aboriginal people: therefore we are pleased to acknowledge June 11th as the National Day of Healing and Reconciliation throughout Canada.
First Nations, Métis and Inuit today are marking the third anniversary of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s June 11, 2008, formal apology to their peoples for Canada’s 150-year-long residential schools program.
During this time, 150,000 children were taken from their families and put into one of 130 residential schools around the country in which they were forbidden to speak their language and were cut off from their cultures and communities. To this day 80,000 survivors and their children struggle with the legacy of what experts have termed intergenerational trauma.
But just as injuries to psyche, family and indigenous cultural fabric were wrought through the supposed education of aboriginal children, so too can education heal, said Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo. He used the day to push the aboriginal agenda of education reform as a way of moving forward.
I was 6 years old when I was taken away from my parents and grandparents in Ahousat BC and forced into a residential school. The Department of Indian Affairs came to our reserve every year in the 1950’s, taking Native children away and placing them in residential schools to learn the White way of life.
Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission is quietly going about its business of helping Canadians better understand the damage done to Aboriginal society by the country's Indian Residential Schools' policy. Listeners will hear moving testimony recorded by CBC Yellowknife, at recent public hearings in the Northwest Territories. The TRC is preparing for a national event that will take place in Inuvik between June 28 - July 1.
The web site contains a 24:58 audio clip of this first part of “The Story from Here” program.
June 11 marks the third anniversary of the Government of Canada’s apology to survivors of Indian Residential Schools. On this day, the federal government recognized that “the legacy of Indian Residential Schools has contributed to social problems that continue to exist in many communities today.”
The anniversary should remind non-aboriginal Canadians of how far we have come in our relationship with first peoples, and of how very far we have left to go. But that will require that many more non-aboriginal Canadians become aware of the history and consequences of this period in our history. This lack of awareness must be rectified if the apology is to lead to meaningful change, rather than becoming a historical footnote.
Groups of families and friends gathered on the lawn of the former Mount Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School Monday to recognize the 77th anniversary of its closing in a day of “Honoring, Healing and Remembering.”
Unlike at traditional American boarding schools, students in Indian boarding schools performed manual labor for most of the day and were beaten on a regular basis. The school was made up of 37 buildings on 320 acres of land, and there were approximately 300 students each year in attendance. In the school, students were forbidden to speak their language and honor their culture.
Dr. Mike DeGagne, executive director for the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, Canada, said there is a huge healing movement in Canada, and would like to see it continued in the U.S. DeGagne pointed out the 1998 apology from Jane Stewart, in representation of Canadian government, for the abuse in residential schools.
It opens the floodgates — but it just takes one courageous voice, he said.
Last week, The Chronicle had the privilege of being invited to Penelakut Island for the launch of The Elders Speak, a book that chronicles the stories of local elders — some First Nations, others not — as told by local elementary student children.
Many stories offered glances into simpler times, happier times. While others expressed terrifying insight into life at the old Kuper Island Residential School and the impacts to follow.
Taking it all in, the project’s significance and impact was not hard to see.
Following today’s federal Budget announcement, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo continued his call for an equitable, stable and sustainable funding approach to support and improve the quality of life for First Nations in Canada.
Aujourd’hui, après la présentation du budget fédéral, le Chef national de l’Assemblée des Premières Nations (APN), Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, a réitéré sa demande d’un mode de financement équitable, stable et durable pour soutenir les Premières Nations du Canada et améliorer leur qualité de vie.
The All Nations Hope AIDS Network is showcasing its services this week, including a support program for residential school survivors.
A weeklong event at the agency is connecting community members with service providers and First Nations healers leading up to the National Day of Healing and Reconciliation - an event which focuses on the legacy of residential schools in Canada - on Saturday.
All Nations Hope AIDS Network provides support and harm-reduction services to aboriginal people living with HIV/AIDS. That includes the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program, which offers counselling to residential school survivors.
There are thousands of photos at Inuvik's Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre. The small library and museum has collected artifacts over the years, documenting the life of Inuvialuit people in the western arctic.
The centre's latest major collection is the photograph library of Sherman Shepherd. In 1929 he arrived at Shingle Point to build a school and mission for the Anglican Church. In 1936, Shepherd's family moved to Aklavik where he became principal of the All Saints school and Canon of the All Saints Cathedral.
Photography was a hobby for Shepherd and also Shingle Point's Matron in Residence, Marguerite Latham. Together, they developed more than 1,200 photos of daily life in the residential school system.
INUVIK, NWT – Sometimes healing needs to start with listening, says commissioner Marie Wilson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
So she looks forward to the day when every Christian across Canada can name one Aboriginal friend whose story they know.
The TRC was established in 2008 by the parties to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, as part of a response to the abuse and neglect experienced by Aboriginal children. Included in its mandate were a series of seven national events where the individuals, families and communities affected by the residential schools could share their stories.
Wilson has been attending public meetings in communities across northern Canada in advance of The Northern National Event, which will be held in Inuvik from June 28 to July 1.
Our documentary today takes you to the village of Oujé Bougamou in Northern Quebec. People across the north are still struggling to recover from the religious residential school experience. Some blame the schools for the loss of aboriginal tradition and culture. They believe the way to move forward is by going back to the old ways. But others have embraced the Christian faith. We'll tell you why an ancient Cree tradition has stirred so much controversy in Oujé Bougamou.
VANCOUVER--Sunny smiles dispelled the gloom of a chilly and rainy spring afternoon when Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, conferred a St. Mark's College honorary doctorate on Sister Marie Zarowny, a Sister of St. Ann.
The occasion was the convocation ceremony for St. Mark's and Corpus Christi Colleges at UBC on May 15. St. Mark's, the Catholic Theological College affiliated with UBC, annually recognizes an individual who has given distinguished service. Sister Zarowny qualifies on many counts, said Archbishop Miller.
"The passion for justice and the need for vision that must imbue all of us and, in a special way those who are graduates of a Catholic institution, must inspire us if we are interested in the flourishing of the human community. We must be especially alert to the great questions of reconciliation of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Peoples and other Canadians. This will be very much on the agenda, as sister mentioned, in the coming year, when the Truth and Reconciliation process comes to the Lower Mainland."
Dalton Louie is a 15-year-old who lives on Penelakut Island. This is the former Kuper Island, just off Chemainus, which is owned by the Penelakut First Nation. Louie is the author of a poem about his grandmother, My Grandma's Younger Days. It includes these lines: I didn't like it when I learned my Grandma had to stand up in the broom closet and the nuns hit her and her language was already broken. Louie's poem appears in a small book, The Elder Project. It's part of an educational series in which First Nations students interview their elders about their pasts, then write poems based on this. The third and newest instalment, The Elders Speak, was launched Wednesday on Penelakut Island. The Elder Project book series is overseen by Sooke poet Wendy Morton, who - for the latest Elders Speak book - worked with students from Chemainus Elementary, Crofton Elementary and Penelakut Island. These young First Nations poets are several generations removed from the bleak residential school experience which so profoundly affected their grandparents.
Chief Wilton Littlechild summed up his lecture in two words: “think big.”
Chief Littlechild presented a speech entitled “Truth and Reconciliation: What Does the Future Hold?”, the second of eleven in the Big Thinking Lecture Series, held at Congress 2011.
Candace Campo is a champion of her culture and her people. A soft-spoken Shishalh member of the wolf clan, Campo is a fountain of information about the Sechelt people, a teacher, entrepreneur and artist. A success by any definition, Campo overcame many obstacles to become the force she is today.
Early in her life Campo faced many sorrows. As a preschooler, she was sexually abused, and in her seventh year, her elder brother was killed in a motorcycle accident. And like many of her people, the aftermath of the Indian Residential School affected her childhood.
St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church is hosting 2 events in June 2011 as part of the Explorations in Indigenous Spirituality and Reconciliation discussion series.
The second event, Indian Residential Schools and Reconciliation in Canada will feature a panel discussion with: With Chief Robert Joseph - Executive Director, Indian Residential Schools Survivor Society, Samaya Jardey - BC Regional Liaison Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Rev. Dr. Wendy Fletcher - Historian, Principal and Dean of the Vancouver School of Theology. It will be held on Monday, June 20, 2011 at 7PM.
A Northern B.C. woman taken from her family and the Gitxsan First Nation in 1964 when she was seven years old has launched a class action lawsuit against the federal government.
Reconciliation between the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches and between Inuit and Dene students who attended residential schools in the North will be a focus of the second Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) national event this month.
“Conflicts among school children along these two religious and ethnic lines are part of the residential school story in this region and across the North,” said the TRC in its concept paper for the event, scheduled for Jun. 28 to Jul. 1 in Inuvik, Northwest Territories (NWT).
Ottawa – The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) invites Canadians and members of the media to attend and witness its Northern National Event, from June 28 – July 1, 2011, in Inuvik, Northwest Territories.
National Events are a public, focal aspect of the TRC mandate intended to capture and expose the truth about Aboriginal children and families separated throughout Canada for more than 100 years, through the Residential School system.
The Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s tour of northern communities ended in Whitehorse last week.
Up next is the second of seven national events.
It will be held in Inuvik, Northwest Territories.