Law 12 Class Experiences Former Residential School Students Stories

Former students have a tough time sharing their stories.

Canadian Press

Former students have a tough time sharing their stories.

On Thursday September 19th, 2013, the St. George’s Law 12 Class visited the PNE where they listened to the stories of Residential School survivors. This event was held by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The boys had a tough time listening to their stories due to how heartbreaking and explicit they were, but they knew that this was an amazing opportunity.

“It was really hard listening to so many of the survivor’s stories. It amazes me how the Residential Schools managed to run for so long and how people outside of these schools had no idea that any of this was actually even happening.” Said Aidan Chan, a member of the St. George’s law class.

The Residential Schools ran from 1857 until 1996. It is estimated that over 150,000 children had passed through these schools. Life was hard for many at these schools. Children were forced to speak English or French, and were punished if they spoke their own native languages. Many children were also not given enough clothing or food. The children were also sexually molested and abused.

In 2008, the Prime Minister of Canada apologized to all Aboriginal children who were sent to these schools for the many bad things that happened to them. Several of the churches that were a part of this system also sincerely apologized.

Even though the school’s had a negative effect on the Aboriginal people, it taught them that their culture and language is a lot more important then they had realized and to never forget where they came from.