A Prince Albert Collegiate Institute Grade 12 English Language Arts A30 class taught by Evonne Garrett worked with Daily Herald managing editor Perry Bergson last month on writing editorials for newspapers. Over the next month we’ll give them a chance to speak up on issues that are meaningful to them. This one was written by Rebbecca Kyle
Residential Schools were such a big impact to the Aboriginal culture. They began in between the years of 1870 to 1880 and the last one closed in 1996.
How would you feel if you were forced to be put into a school and taken away from your family? Having someone other than your own parents raising you? Being physically and sexually abused? Having your culture being taken away from you? It would of course cause emotional damage to you. Would you want that?
There comes a time when the horrible experiences need to be recognized but at the same time left in the past.
Recently on CBC News there was an article called Truth and Reconciliation: nearly four years of hearing wrap. It had to do with The Canadian Residential Schools wrapping up four years of public hearings, where the victims came together to tell their stories of the traumatizing experiences they encountered in the Residential Schools.
Reading this made me feel good because even though the victims suffered terrible experiences in the Residential Schools, they are still acknowledging it and showing how they can leave the terrible memories in the past. For example Calvin Bruneau said “I am hoping it leads to better all-around relations between First Nations people and the government."
This shows how the victims who suffered trauma from Residential Schools wants to bring themselves and the government together so they can repair the aboriginals’ history of Residential Schools.
Us as readers can see and understand that this seemed to be more of a healing process for the victims. The victims got to see how they weren’t alone by hearing different but similar stories like their own and how this was more of a healing process for them but it was also about forgiveness. Just as Chief Willie Littlechild said “Many times, I was hearing my own story being told in front of me and that became very emotionally challenging because I need to deal with that personally."
Having this reconciliation shows strength in all the victims who suffered. In a way this was even a healing process for the people like Crowchild who was of the Tsuu T'ina Nation outside Calgary who attended a residential school as a child said "A lot of people got healed just by telling their story.”
It gave the victims a chance to retell their stories, it allowed them to see how they are not alone and to understand that it’s better to leave the hurt and pain behind, accepting that it happened and moving on.