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'It took away family life': Residential school survivors share experiences at event in Regina

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The Indian residential school experience was the focus of a workshop meant to educate those about Canada’s first people.

The workshop is a part of a larger project titled, “Igniting the Spirit of Reconciliation.”

The project is currently happening throughout the month of February at the Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre in Regina.

“We need to tell the truth before we can do any kind of reconciliation. It is important to us to tell that truth and share our stories,” said Susan Beaudin, the Co-Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee of the Archdiocese of Regina.

Phyllis Karetschmer attended Marieval Indian Residential School on Cowessess First Nation. She said the school took away foundational parts of communities.

“It took away family life. We were held back from our families,” said Katentschmer.

Elizabeth Moore spent time in residential school, but was sent home at an early age. She said she witnessed what the long-term impacts the system had on her family.

Moore said other systems like child welfare have negatively impacted how people see Indigenous peoples.

“That’s what we need to get across, for people to get to know how we are. We’re not the people they say we are,” said Moore.

There is one more event being planned, which will focus on the importance of the signing of the numbered treaties.

“I want to thank people for opening their hearts and minds. For believing us and our stories,” said Beaudin.

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