Survivors recount residential schools
Canada’s dark history with residential schooling still ripples throughgenerations today, and has left suffering survivors to pick up thepieces in its wake.
Canada’s dark history with residential schooling still ripples through generations today, and has left suffering survivors to pick up the pieces in its wake.
Residential schools, created in the 1840s to assimilate Aboriginals into European-Christian society, took children away from families and, allegedly, into a cycle of abuse.
“Sit in your chair, shut up, and do it,” said Rev. Travis Enright, referring to the teaching methods of residential schooling. “They treated the kids like robots.”
Enright is assistant curate of All Saints Anglican Cathedral, and works with those affected by residential schools.
“There are many who are now in their 60s and 70s, and they have never gotten over it, the trauma has been so intense for them,” said Terry Lusty, residential school survivor and counsellor with the Alberta Native Friendship Centre.
“In secular society, we don’t like talking about spiritual wounds, but there is a whole movement of healing of memories,” Enright said.
“Some have gone through psychologists for years, and they still are not healed,” Lusty said, adding therapy is an alternative to healing circles in the community.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper publicly apologized to survivors in June 2008. Many have received reparations.