Blog Archives

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.

Survivors witness demolition of dreaded First Nations residential school in Alert Bay

Fighting for history: Uncovering the truth of residential schools

Native children in Residential School.

Native children in Residential School.

A report from the front lines of the search for “truth” in Truth and Reconciliation, and a look at the people trying to make history accessible to aboriginals and non-aboriginals alike.

WINNIPEG—There are two sacred boxes in the offices of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

One is a bentwood box sculpted from a single piece of cedar by an indigenous artist. Its panels are adorned with the mournful carved faces representing First Nations and Métis who suffered through the residential schools era, when government-sanctioned institutions systemically tried to eradicate indigenous culture, tore apart families and operated havens for child abuse.

Read the rest of this entry

Provinces hand over aboriginal death records from Residential Schools

Residential School survivor t-shirtDene Moore, CTV News/The Canadian Press, March 28, 2014

VANCOUVER — The death records of tens of thousands of First Nations children who died during the time residential schools were operating in Canada have been handed over to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Read the rest of this entry

Native Residential School children starved as part of experiments

At least 1,300 aboriginal people were involved in the government-run nutrition experimentResidential School class

CBC News,  July 17, 2013

As a 10-year-old boy, Alvin Dixon remembers having to milk cows during his stay at a residential school in Port Alberni, B.C. Yet, he was always fed only powdered milk.

Dixon, who is now 76 years old, was forcibly taken from his family in Bella Bella, on British Columbia’s northwest coast, when he was a child and relocated to Port Alberni, B.C., where he said he and many of his classmates were starved. Read the rest of this entry

New research finds at least 3,000 confirmed Indian residential school deaths

Colin Perkel, Canadian Press, Feb 18, 2013Residential School class

At least 3,000 children, including four under the age of 10 found huddled together in frozen embrace, are now known to have died during attendance at Canada’s Indian residential schools, according to new unpublished research. Read the rest of this entry

‘Many survivors are in terrible pain’

Residential schools left lasting trauma, commission finds

By Terri Theodore, Winnipeg Free Press, Feb 25, 2012

Native children in residential school

VANCOUVER — Tears form in Barney Williams’ eyes and his hand rests over his heart when he speaks about how important a report on residential schools is for First Nations who grew up in the church-run schools.

“Many survivors are in terrible pain,” said Williams, himself a residential school survivor and an elder with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which released its interim report Friday. Read the rest of this entry