Wednesday Evening Open House for Individuals or Group Studio Visits
 

Native children in residential schools were subjected to extreme degrees of cruelty in physical, emotional, spiritual, cultural and sexual abuse.

Residential school abuse was unique in that:

  • There was forced removal from homes
  • A whole cultural group was forcibly sent to these schools
  • There was the forced loss of their language and culture
  • It was sanctioned institutionally and legally
  • There was no one to turn to for help there was a total loss of family and community

Residential schools communicated and instilled worthlessness, shame, isolation, hopelessness, a lack of belonging, internalized self-hatred.

The legacy of residential schools left a sense of not fitting in anywhere, not with their own culture and families, nor in the rest of Canada. "I don't know who I am."

Native communities have shown remarkable resilience in living with the legacy of almost a century of all forms of abuse within Canada's residential schools.

The legacy of the deliberate institutional abuse of Native peoples continues to have an impact not only on the survivors of that abuse, but on all of us.

All Canadians need to learn about the facts and issues related to the abuse of aboriginal peoples in residential schools.


Grandfathers:
I pray for your pity,
The acknowledgment of suffering
Be the offering you will turn,
Like the waterspouts of the ocean,
Into the heart of the sun.
Fulfilling the hearts of children

All My Relations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never Alone

Never alone I will walk by myself on this lonely road
facing loneliness, hopelessness or cruelty.
Never alone, I will face another lonely sunrise
Never alone, I'll be vulnerable
to people who used me or hurt me.
Never alone, my heart will carry
heart ache and sorrow.
Never alone, my spirit will wonder
looking for love in the wrong places
Never alone, I will be
because someone is holding my hand
telling me they still love me.

Sarah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I pray that
The memory
of the pain
Will leave
Forever
All My Relations
Asin
Vern Harper

 

 

 

 


To my son Gerry, from Mom,
Bernadette Iahtail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Candyce

 

 

 

 

SPIRIT OF THE RAVEN

Cold and Dead
Unwanted, Discarded
Unable to Speak
Alone in the World
Abandoned
DAMAGED

Alive with the spirit of the Raven.
I will survive
Worthwhile
Wanted
Soaring with self-esteem
Myself
Proud
Satisfied
Needed
Connected
Having a voice.

Matt

 

 

 

 


Little Buffalo Child
Michael C. Irving, Phd

 

 

 

 

 

 

They Did - I Do

STAB
CUT
POKE
PROD
HIT
SMACK
WHIP
LAUGH AT
HUMILIATE

THAT'S WHAT THEY DID TO ME
THAT'S WHAT I FEEL LIKE DOING TO ME
THAT'S WHAT I DESPERATELY WANT TO DO TO MY ART

BUT, I DON'T
I WORK ON THE IMAGES
SCULPT
SHAPE
CREATE

THE RAGE GIVES ME ENERGY
ENERGY TO TELL - - -
THERE WILL BE NO MORE SECRETS

Ruth

THE POWER OF TOUCH

In the longing of my soul a touch runs deep.
I feel your cold, calculated cruelty.
Knowing well the pain of degradation,
My Self is lost.

Not able to cope with the loss,
I pretend your hurtful touch never happened.
Your touch stops me from feeling,
- from living.

Years pass by; the reality of your touch
Steals my childhood,
Robs me of life's opportunities,
Imprisons me in shame.

Unable to be real, unable to BE,
I become a robot. I act;
I say and do the socially appropriate;
Unaware of the emptiness within.

The power of your touch stays with me.
Suicide, self inflicted wounds, mutilation, and depression
All rear their ugly heads.
Your control is complete.

In the abyss of terror, unable to move forward,
Another TOUCH reaches my soul.
The unseen touch of a stranger sends energizing warmth throughout me,
I feel stronger, I sense an inner joy,
A will to live, a desire to BE.

Ruth

 

 

 


Home at last
Marjie

 

Dr. Michael C. Irving is of Choctaw and Cherokee ancestry and works with Traditional and contemporary approaches to healing.

 

 

 

 

Discussion - Abuse of Aboriginal People in Residential Schools

Similarities with other abuse:

  • Effects of the abuse on personality: drug abuse, criminality, self destructive lifestyles
  • Abuse becomes cyclical in families

 

 

Issues:
  • Imposing one culture on another, denying historical rights to native peoples, slaughter of tribes in settling North America, segregation and isolation of cultural groups, sterilization of native women.
  • Imposing change without consultation with the native community.
  • Native peoples initially agreed to residential schools, then couldn’t withdraw the children.
  • Suffering of the native community as a result: youth suicide, poor housing, overcrowding, scars left by abuse, sense of worthlessness, shame, isolation, no sense of culture, internalized self hatred.
  • Media or public perceptions that native people need to “shape up, get over it”, “not my problem”.
  • Need for education at all levels of the system, exhibitions, field trips, exchanges with native peoples.

 

 

Legacy of Residential Schools:

Many native people feel that they don’t fit in anywhere, don’t meet cultural ideals. They lost their culture and their language. They have no connection with their own culture or families.

From the 1880'2 to the 1970's, the Christian churches provided education to native children. The teachers were sometimes untrained. Children experienced physical, sexual and emotional abuse. They were forced to speak English, and were often malnourished. Epidemic illness and sometimes death occurred, due to neglect and mistreatment.

It is painful to acknowledge the history and the shame of residential schools. We need to see the strengths and movement for change. Are successful mechanisms for change in place? Change will not happen overnight. It must happen at different levels. The need for change involves growth of a personal, individual nature as well as at the political and social level.
Getting “unstuck” from shame
  • Educate others. Always speak to the history of problems, the shameful experiences and dignity, the change that is happening, the strengths of the native community.
  • Learn about native culture.
  • Be in touch with humility.
  • Learn from others.

 

 

REFERENCES ON ABUSE OF ABORIGINAL PEOPLE IN RESIDENTIAL INSTITUTIONS:

Angus, Denis J. Okanee. “Preserve Residential School History.” Windspeaker, August 1997, vol. 15, no. 4, p. 6.

Barnsley, Paul. “Feds Said To Be Ignoring Protocol (Extending Apology To Natives Through The Statement of Reconciliation).” Windspeaker, May 1998, vol. 16 no. 1, p. 11.

----------. “Prosecution Avoided (Bishop Hubert O’Connor Apologises For Sexual Abuse of Residential School Woman).” Windspeaker, August 1998, vol. 16 no. 4, p. 4.

----------. “Residential School Compensation: Who Do I Turn To? What Do I Do?” Windspeaker, August 1998, vol. 16 no. 4, p. 2.

----------. “Residential Schools Violated UN Law.” Windspeaker, July 1998, vol. 16 no. 3, p. 2.

Berger, Thomas. Little Big Man: a novel. New York: Delta/Seymour Lawrence, 1989.

Boyd, Gail and Todd Lamirande. “(Aboriginal Healing) Foundation Established To Manage Healing Fund.” First Perspective, June 1998, vol. 7 no. 6, p. 1, 4.

Byfield, Ted. “Our Spurious Guilt and Blind Gullibility Are An Open Invitation To Swindle and Fraud.” Alberta Report, July 27, 1998, vol. 25 no. 32, p.44.

Culleton, Beatrice. In Search of April Raintree. Winnipeg: Pemmican Publications, 1984.

Donnelly, Patrick. “Scapegoating the Indian Residential Schools: The Noble Legacy of Hundreds of Christian Missionaries Is Sacrificed To Political Correctness.” Alberta Report, January 26, 1998, vol. 25, no. 6 pcover, 6-11.

Duncan, Muriel. “Lessons of the Alberni School Trial Go Far Beyond the Courtroom Walls.” United Church Observer, July-August 1998, vol. 62 no. 1, p.10.

Dyck, Noel. “Differing Visions: Administering Indian Residential Schooling in Prince Albert 1867-1995.” Saskatchewan History, Fall 19997, vol. 49, no. 2, p. 41-42.

Fontaine, Phil. “Co-operation, Not Confrontation: The Historic Apology Is Part of a Federal Paradigm Shift Toward Aborigines. Time (Can. ed.), January 19, 1998, vol. 151 no. 2, p. 44.

Fornier, Suzanne and Ernie Crey. Stolen From Our Embrace: The Abduction of First Nations Children and the Restoration of Aboriginal Communities. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1997.

Furniss, Elizabeth. “Victims of Benevolence: The Dark Legacy of the Williams Lake Residential School.” Canadian Historical Review, December 1997, vol. 78 no. 4, p. 690-2.

Grant, Agnes. No End Of Grief: Indian Residential Schools In Canada. Winnipeg: Pemmican Pub. 1996.

Gryphon Productions Ltd. Beyond the Shadows. Film. Canada: Distributed by the National Film Board, 28 min. 1993.

Haggart, Blayne. “Catholic Groups Ponder Implications of B.C. Decision.” Catholic New Times, June 28, 1998, vol. 22 no. 12, p.10.

Hodgson, C. Willy. “Residential Schools - Where Do We Go From Here?” Anglican Journal, June 1997, vol. 123 no 6, p. 5.

Hall, Tony. “Who’s Sorry Now?” Canadian Forum, March 1998, vol. 76 no. 867, p. 6-8.

Kruzenga, Len. “Residential School Ruling Expected to Open Floodgates.” First Perspective, July 1998, vol. 7 no. 7, p. 1-2.

----------. “Two Survivors Say Apology Means Healing Process can Begin.” First Perspective, February 1998, vol. 7 no. 1, p. 1.

Larmondin, Leanne. “Council Supports Call For Residential School Inquiry: Members Urge Church to Explore New Relationship With Aboriginals.” Anglican Journal, June 1997, vol. 123 no. 6, p. 2.

Mark Lowrie. Piegan Band, Co-producers. Children of the Eagle. Film, directed by Mark Lowrie, written by Sybille Manneschmidt. Canada: National Film Board, 29 min. 24 sec. 1990.

McAteer, Michael. “Date Set For Native School Trial: National Church Diocese Named.” Anglican Journal, May 1998, vol. 124 no. 5, p. 7.

Miller, Jarrod. “I Must Apologise For Being An Indian.” Windspeaker, May 1998, vol. 16 no. 1, p.4 (sup).

Miller, J.R. Shingwauk’s Vision: Native Residential Schools in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996.

Oskaboose, Gilbert. “He’s Baaaaack! (Re Residential Schools).” First Perspective, June 1997, vol. 6, no. 4, p.4.

----------. “Open Letter To An Ojibway Medicine Man.” First Perspective, February 1998, vol. 7, no. 1, p.4.

----------. “Keep Your Apologies!” First Perspective, October 1997, vol. 6, no. 8, p.4.

Parker Jr., Schafer. “Vicarious Liability, Real Money: A Judge’s Ruling Could Open the Vault for Those Claiming Residential School Abuse.” BC Report, June 22, 1998, vol. 9 no. 42, p. 26.

Phillips, Todd. “Confronting the Pain: A Wounded Generation Begins To Heal.” Arctic Circle, Fall-Winter 1993, p. 20-9.

Ross, Rupert. Returning to the Teachings: Exploring Aboriginal Justice. Toronto: Penguin, 1996.

Schlesinger, Joel. “Residential Schools On Trial: A UN-affiliated Tribunal Could Find Canada Guilty of Cultural Genocide.” Western Report, July 6, 1998, vol. 13 no. 24, p. 20-1.

Sillars, Les. “Vicarious Liability, Real Money: The Campaign To Compensate Residential School Victims Heats Up.” Alberta Report, July 13, 1998, vol. 15, no. 30, p. 9.

Weber, Bob. “Chiefs Accept Apology.” First Perspective, April 1998, vol. 7 no. 3, p. 1.

Wilson, David. “Gov’t, Church Jointly Liable: Alberni Judgement Could Lead to a Flood of Lawsuits on Residential Schools and Cost Millions in Compensation. United Church Observer, July-August 1998, vol. 62, no. 1, p. 21-2.

----------. “Paper-trail of Pain: While Lawyers Focused On Documents, 30 B.C. Natives Relived Abuse Trauma in a Nanaimo Courtroom. United Church Observer, April 1998, vol. 61, no. 9, p. 16-18.

Wiwchar, David. “B.C. Judge Rules on Residential School Case.” Catholic New Times, June 28, 1998, vol. 22 no. 12, p. 1, 10.

----------. “School Trial Moves North (Alberni Indian Residential School).” Windspeaker, April 1998, vol. 16 no. 1, p. 2, 4.

---------. “United Church, Feds Both Liable (For Atrocities at the Port Alberni Indian Residential School).” Windspeaker, July 1998, vol. 16 no. 3, p. 1-2.

“Behind the Law, There are the People (Victims of Residential school System).” Windspeaker, August 1998, vol. 16 no. 4, p. 3.

“Bishops Offer Apologies in First Nations Healing Circle.” Catholic New Times, June 28, 1998, vol. 22 no. 12, p. 5.

“Former students Return For Healing (Pelican Indian Residential School).” First Perspective, July 1997, vol. 6 no. 5, p. 28.

“Healing Needs ‘Overwhelming’”. United Church Observer, April 1998, vol. 61, no. 9, p. 18.

“Indians To Convert Residential School Into Hotel.” First Perspective, June 1997, vol. 6 no. 4, p. 30.

“Is There Really Strength In Numbers? (There Are Now Over 1,000 Lawsuits Related To Residential School System).” Windspeaker, August 1998, vol. 16 no. 4, p. 2.

“Letter Home (From A Student At Mackay Residential School, 1964).” First Perspective, December 25, 1997, vol. 6 no. 11, p. 2.

“Pop Up Residential Schools (Excerpted Quotes From Government Documents).” Windspeaker, May 1998, vol. 16 no. 1, p. 3 (sup).

“Port Alberni Stories Alarming (Residential Schools).” First Perspective, March 1998, vol. 7 no. 2, p. 7.

“What Can We Compare This To? (Victims of Residential School System Compared to Japanese-Canadian Victims of Internment).” Windspeaker, August 1998, vol. 16 no. 4, p. 3..


Work on "Reaching Out",
The Child Abuse Survivor Monument Project
inspired the vision of Wakinyan Awasis:
A Sacred Site Honouring
the Spirt of the Child

 

"Follow Site Web Ring"
GO TO RITUAL ABUSE


As a little girl I felt
all alone in my pain.
My child spirit is
learning to love me
today.
Cindy – Six Nations
Deleware Nation

 

 

 

 

 


While we may not know
every child. We must
know the importance of
each childhood.
Carol

 

 

 

 

 


No abuse, hope,
freedom, life.

 

 

 

 

 


Stop child abuse
it destroys family’s.
Travis

 

 

 

 

 


Climb those mountains!
Become all
that you can be.
Trust and have Faith
in the Creator
to be there for you.
Forgive and
Love Yourself.
Oki Maa Kweiss
Carolyn

 

 

 

 

 


John Penny
Mount Cashel Survivor
1950's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


All of our precious
children deserve to
feel safe and loved.
Barb

 

 

 

 

 


Reach Out to Parents and
caregivers.
No parent should feel
alone.
No child should be
abused!

 

 

 

 

 


Love conquers all!
Don't be afraid
to tell someone
about your experience.
Janine

 

 

 

 

 


Stop child abuse
worldwide.

 

 

 

 

 


Stop the cycle,
break the silence.
Embrace the child within.
She did what was
necessary to survive

 

 

 

 

 


Spanking is not discipline.
Raise a hand to a child
only to hold.
Abuse hurts!
Stop the hurt!
Carmen

 

 

 

 

 


Every life counts.
Carla

 

 

 

 

 


You will be
protected!

 

 

 

 


It took 40 years of fear
before I was set free.

 

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*All Rights Reserved
copyright (1991-2012)


*All Rights Reserved
copyright (1991-2012)