Trauma Warning deals with residential school: another horrific discovery 2022

IRSSS Toll-Free Line: 1-800-721-0066 24hr National Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419 KUU-US Crisis Line: 1-800-588-8717 Tsow-Tun-Le Lum: 1-888-403-3123

Holy Angels Residential School (closed in 1976)

The discovery of 215 unmarked graves in Kamloops residential school last year created an outrage briefly. Until the news cycle ended in early 2021, society reacted quickly to the horror but then the attention faded away, just as quickly.  

As a former residential student at Holy Angels residential school, I made it my goal to work on intergenerational trauma resulting from Canadian government policy. In 1876, the first Indian Act legislated the beginning of a cultural genocide, shortly followed was the creation of residential schools.  

Over 150,000 indigenous children were removed from their homes and confined to residential schools like prisoners.

The discovery of unmarked graves didn’t shock us, and we braced for more discoveries in the days, weeks, months and years to come.

Most recently, in January 2022, the possible remains of 93 children were discovered on the property of St. Joseph’s Residential School in Williams Lake First Nation, BC

We cannot become desensitized to this horror.

My first thoughts, my memories as a child at Holy Angels residential school in Fort Chipewyan, came flooding back.

95 Children’s Remains

Should not be ignored or buried. (pun intended)

Children discarded like garbage

Children’s nightmares buried, hidden silent voices unearth

false Christians

large firm hands had no mercy

emboldened behind wooden crosses

children murdered, betrayed

one unmarked grave should shock

secrets of 95 children in unmarked graves

should not land on deaf ears

society’s Not so secret, secrets open yesterday’s wounds

What you do next will define you who you are for years

to acknowledge 95 more graves is painful, yes it is

but It is a necessity we can’t ignore

outrage should not be contained, the wound is too raw

time of Truth and Reconciliation

listen to little voices beyond the unmarked graves

Calls to Action – what are you going to do?

when you heal your trauma ,you heal the generations who follow

whether you are indigenous or not we are all human

atrocities of the past slapped us squarely in our humanity pay attention!

Students at Holy Angels Residential (Cira 1970)
Roger, Rossi, Chris, Me,

One response to “Trauma Warning deals with residential school: another horrific discovery 2022”

  1. IRSSS Toll-Free Line: 1-800-721-0066
    24hr National Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
    KUU-US Crisis Line: 1-800-588-8717
    Tsow-Tun-Le Lum: 1-888-403-3123

    Like

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