At least 150,000 Indigenous youths were forced into Indian Residential Schools (IRS) between the 1870s and 1990s. They were run by Canadian/Provincial governments and religious authorities. The aim was to strip the young of their language/culture and force them to adopt to the colonizer’s way of life. In other words, cultural genocide, but with the recent discovery of 215 indigenous children at a Kamloops IRS in unmarked graves, with many more to be found all over Canada, it can be argued that it’s more than cultural genocide.
Out of the 139 IRS in Canada, 26 were in Alberta. Among those, six were in Southern Alberta. It is known that thousands of Indigenous children died needlessly while attending IRS. The speakers will describe their experiences with IRS and relate to how the generational trauma have affected large portions of Indigenous Peoples and their communities. Healing remedies and the importance of teaching all kids about the horror of IRS in K-6 and beyond, will also be discussed.
Speakers: Dr. Terri-Lynn Fox and Elder Keith Chief Moon
Oki, Niistoo’akoka Aapiihkwi’komotakii, my English name is Terri-Lynn Fox. I am a member of the Kainai Nation, which is part of the Blackfoot Confederacy. My academic credentials include a B.A. in Psychology, an M.A. in Sociology, and a Ph.D. in Education. I am the Director of the Kainai Wellness Centre, which is one branch of the Blood Tribe Department of Health, located on the Kainai Nation. I practice our Siksikaitsitapi ways and envision this to be at the forefront of our healing methods, in addition to an avenue for our way forward, as we think about, participate in, and actively change the Canadian landscape for the betterment of all – to justly reach reconciliation.
Onistaya Kopi, Keith Chief Moon. I am a Survivor of the Indian Residential Schools on the Blood Reserve. I was subjected to discrimination and bigotry, yet I obtained a high school diploma from Cardston. I have achieved a B.A. and B.Ed. in Native American Studies; and an M.A. in Education. I have overcome addictions; and I am currently free from alcohol, drugs and other forms of hallucinatory drugs. I am a sacred pipe carrier, a ceremonialist, and I practice the teachings of Napbii Na’tosi, that all human beings have a responsibility to live a good life, to prosper, to share, to respect and take each day as a new day.