Content Warning: residential schools
“National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a tough day, but we realize that before we can have reconciliation, we must have the truth.”
Those words came from Lheidli T’enneh Chief Dolleen Logan as she announced the First Nation would be hosting an event for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
“It’s a chapter in our Canadian history that must never be forgotten,” she said.
The event will take place at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park Friday (September 30th), from 2:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.
There will also be a moment of silence held at 2:15 to honour the 215 children found at the Kamloops Residential School site.
“It’s not a party, it’s not a big celebration,” said Event Leader Jen Rubadeau.
“This is a moment to really reflect on what has happened in our Canadian History, and to honour and give space and healing for not only the residential school survivors, but the intergenerational survivors, and the community” added Rubadeau.
Logan also shared a story of her mother’s experience at a residential school.
“My mother was given the job to work in the kitchen, to set the table for the priests and the nuns for dinner, and a little four-year-old girl came, new to the school. There’s buns on the table, and you’re four-years-old, you’re hungry, what do you do? You grab the bun and eat it, right? She didn’t know that they counted the buns, and so they came back and they wanted to know who took the bun. My mom stood up and said I did, and so they strapped her hands so bad she couldn’t close them for three days. I’ve heard from other members about my mom that went to residential schools, they called her the savior, because she stood up, and took the blame.”
Through tears, Logan said that was only one story that she’s heard.
“That’s one of thousands and thousands of stories of the abuse that took place,” Logan said.
“One thing my mom told me, ‘you never look down, you look people straight in the eye, and never let anyone talk down to you.’”
The phone number for the Residential Schools Survivors and Family line is 1-800-721-0066.