‘I remember’: B.C. residential school survivor speaks out after possible burial sites discovered
Disclaimer: This story deals with a disturbing topic that may upset and trigger some readers. Discretion is recommended. Survivors of the St. Joseph’s Mission residential school in Williams Lake, British Columbia, are still in shock to learn that an initial sweep of the ancient grounds uncovered 93 possible burial sites. Jacqueline Sawan of the Tl’etinqox Government Band, otherwise known as the Anaham Band, was the third generation of her family to attend residential school. Her father was from the Alexandria Indian Band and her mother and siblings are from the Anaham Band, she told Global News on Tuesday by written correspondence. sincerely grateful that this story of how this boarding school took care of all of us children,” said Sawan. “I had blocked all that. But hear it all again. I remember.” The story continues under the ad “I saw priests with young girls,” she added. “I saw abuse. Also, I suffered abuse. “The food would have maggots in the food. (The) food was totally rotten. The milk was curdled. She said her brother was in the boys’ dorm, suffering from high fever and dehydration. That’s Sawan’s sister who found out he was sick and snuck into the boys’ dorm to take care of him.2:3293 Potential burials discovered at former boarding school site in Williams Lake, B.C. 93 potential burials discovered at the site of a former boarding school in Williams Lake, B.C. Excavations are needed to confirm if they are human remains “Today I was extremely emotional,” Sawan said on Tuesday “I cried listening to this missionary boarding school. We lost our culture. We don’t know our mother tongue nor our native traditions. We were only taught to speak English in this boarding school. We were punished if we tried to speak our language. Story continues under ad She said she struggled with alcoholism and depression growing up, along with many of her family members. She graduated and now works as a chef. Her only daughter has a doctorate in psychology and her sister has been a social worker in the area for over 30 years. sit down and cry very loudly. Joseph’s Mission boarding school operated from 1886 to 1981 and has since been demolished. An additional property, the Onward Ranch, was added in 1964 to meet the operational needs of the school. The sites were mainly run by Roman Catholic missionaries. According to the National Center for Truth and Reconciliation, one student died of exposure after attempting to escape from St. Joseph’s in 1902. Another died and eight others fell ill after eating poisonous hemlock, which parents believed to be a response to discipline at school. 4:24’93 is our number.’ Williams Lake First Nation discovers possible burial sites “93 is our number. Williams Lake First Nation finds possible burial sites Story continues under ad “When I was younger, I was ashamed to go to residential school,” Sawan said. “I haven’t shared this part of my life with anyone for most of my life. I’m 55 now. I am a third generation from this Williams Lake Mission boarding school. Tyman Jobin was also very moved on Tuesday when the findings were announced. are on this ground and never returned home,” he said. He told Global News he believes the Ministry of Children and Family Development still systematically discriminates against Indigenous children and families. their own care, ministry funding is delayed, compared to when a child is in the care of a non-Aboriginal family. nothing but boarding schools (schools) still going on today,” Jobin said. “Kids today who are apprehended and in the system, at least they come back. 4:53Ottawa agrees to turn over more residential school records Ottawa agrees to turn over more residential school records In a statement to Global News, the Department of Children and Family Development said it recognizes that “the system of child protection has been too involved in the lives of Aboriginal children and families and that goes back to residential schools and continues today. The story continues under the ad “British Columbia is the first province to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – recognizing in law the human rights of Indigenous peoples.” The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) works with delegated Indigenous agencies, First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners to reduce the number of Indigenous children and youth in government care . supported since 2000. Regarding financial aid, the ministry said it is working to ensure “timely payment and issuance of aid”. However, they know there are still delays and urge anyone to file a complaint if necessary. For those affected by the news released on Tuesday and who have only just begun the long road to recovery, they can only hope that there will be progress in the future. ng me sadness,” Sawan said. “I just remember boarding school. I did not have the opportunity to have a normal childhood, I was placed in a boarding school to ensure the loss of my native heritage. for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience.—with files by Neetu Garcha and Elizabeth McSheffrey © 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.