Blog Archives

Residential school runaway remembers harrowing journey that killed his two friends

bernard-andreason-then-and-now

Bernard Andreason, then and now. Andreason, left, at 11 years old, when he attended Stringer Hall in Inuvik. He’s now 56, and lives in Vancouver (right). (CBC)

‘At the time, as young kids, it sounded good … like we were going to make it in a day or 2’

By Brandi Morin, CBC News, September 21, 2017

When the highway connecting Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk year-round finally opens in November, Bernard Andreason hopes to be there.

But it will be a celebration tinged with loss and regret. Read the rest of this entry

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US Army begins unearthing remains of children who died at Carlisle Indian school

Carlisle Indian School elders

Native Americans, Mark Soldier Wolf and Nelson White Eagle at right are part of the visiting Northern Arapaho delegation at the former Carlisle Indian Industrial School. CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer

by Jeff Gammage, Philly.com, August 8, 2017

CARLISLE, Pa. — Nelson White Eagle, gray and stiff at 78, needed time to make his way across the wet grass to the graves of the children, but when he got there, he didn’t hesitate: Read the rest of this entry

Aboriginal children at residential schools often buried in unmarked graves, report reveals

Residential School class

Native children in a residential school.

by Marlene Leung, CTV News, Dec 15, 2015

Aboriginal children attending residential schools died at a higher rate than school-aged children in the general population, and were often buried in unmarked graves, according to the final report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The commission released its final report Tuesday afternoon, marking the culmination of six years of research and interviews with more than 6,000 residential school survivors and their families. Read the rest of this entry

Residential school documents to be publicly available for first time

Strapped, bullied and sexually assaulted at residential school, ex-student testifies

Toby Obed fought back tears as he told the court how staff would make students have sex on field trips and forced others to watch.  CBC News.

Toby Obed fought back tears as he told the court how staff would make students have sex on field trips and forced others to watch. CBC News.

Toby Obed says former students in North West River were scared of staff

by CBC News, Oct 5, 2015

An Inuit man told a St. John’s courtroom Monday that he never felt loved at the Labrador residential school he was forced to attend, and that punishment against Inuit students was very common.

Toby Obed said students at the North West River school were also bullied and taunted but staff did nothing to protect them.

“We were scared of staff. They could do or say anything at anytime,” Obed sobbed as he testified during a class action lawsuit at Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.  Read the rest of this entry

Harper’s 2008 residential school apology was ‘attempt to kill the story,’ says ex-PMO speechwriter

Prime Minister Stephen Harper after delivering apology to Indian residential school survivors on June 11, 2008. PMO photo (via APTN).

Prime Minister Stephen Harper after delivering apology to Indian residential school survivors on June 11, 2008. PMO photo (via APTN).

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s 2008 apology to Indian residential school survivors was a “strategic attempt to kill the story,” according to former speechwriter in the Prime Minister’s Office at the time.

Paul Bunner was the head speechwriter in Harper’s PMO between 2006 and 2009.

Bunner’s views on the Indian residential school apology and the possible motivation behind it recently surfaced on a blog by Coast Salish Native American writer Robert Jago who outed a series of Conservative candidates, current and former MP staffers, along with Bunner for their comments and views on First Nation people. Read the rest of this entry

Truth and Reconciliation Commission: By the numbers

Residential Schools WW2 survival ratesSummary report is only one step in reconciliation

By Daniel Schwartz, CBC News, June 2, 2015

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Canada’s Indian residential schools uses the term cultural genocide for what happened to the 150,000 or so aboriginal children and their families while the schools operated.

“Residential schooling was always more than simply an educational program: it was an integral part of a conscious policy of cultural genocide,” the TRC’s summary report states. Read the rest of this entry

Thousands march through Ottawa in walk for truth and reconciliation

Walk for Reconciliation in Ottawa, May 31, 2015.

Walk for Reconciliation in Ottawa, May 31, 2015.

Thousands marched through the streets of Ottawa on Sunday in an effort to “transform and renew” the relationship between aboriginal people and other Canadians.

Residential school survivors, along with friends and family, made the symbolic walk under dreary skies along a five-kilometre route from Gatineau, Que., past Parliament Hill and ended at Ottawa’s City Hall.

The walk comes as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada prepares to release its final report on residential schools Tuesday. Launched in 2009, the commission was given a five-year mandate to examine a dark chapter in Canada’s history and find out exactly how many aboriginal children died while in these schools. Read the rest of this entry

6,000 aboriginal children died in residential school system, report finds

Residential SchoolFinal report from Truth and Reconciliation Commission to be released June 3

By John Paul Tasker, CBC News, May 29, 2015

At least 6,000 aboriginal children died while in the residential school system, says Justice Murray Sinclair, the chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Sinclair, who has been tasked with studying the legacy of the residential schools, says that the figure is just an estimate and is likely much higher. Residential schools were established in the 19th century and the last ones closed in 1996. Read the rest of this entry

Is it time we start talking about our murdered and missing indigenous men?

Grace Lafond-Barr.

Grace Lafond-Barr.

Indigenous men are more likely to be murdered than anyone else in Canada – possibly more than 2,000 in a 30-year period.