'Disappointing': Residential school in Lebret, Sask. vandalized
Three days before the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada the former residential school in Lebret, Sask. was vandalized.
Jordan Starr was walking the grounds as security patrol when he saw the vulgar and racist graffiti spray-painted onto the building’s walls and doors.
“The morning we came in it was pretty disappointing to come across because we have our National Day for Truth and Reconciliation coming up this Thursday and for that to happen during a time like that is just disappointing,” said Starr.
Starr said this vandalism is insulting, disheartening and truly speaks to the experiences of Indigenous people throughout history.
“[I feel] heartbroken, especially for survivors from residential schools because this is where they went to school and they are trying to heal and grieve from things that stem from this kind of mindset,” said Starr.
The residential school in Lebret operated until the mid-’90s, and to many survivors, it encompasses memories of great sadness and pain.
Michael Starr, Chief of Star Blanket Cree Nation, said this is not the first time the property has been hit by vandals.
Since May they have increased security patrol and will be making changes to the work hours to prevent this from happening again.
“We have our security up until 2 a.m. and so now after that [incident] we are going to change that up,” said Chief Starr.
While Chief Starr is grateful no one was injured, he said education is key to resolving ignorance and hate.
“We need a little bit more of that [education] inside our school systems and our homes just to keep reminding our young people that this is where we need to live with one another and help one another live in peaceful coexistence.”
The community is disheartened by this incident, but Chief Starr said Indigenous people are resilient and will come together for Reconciliation.