Students Educated About Residential Schools

Thursday, October 18, 2007 at 15:11



Some Saskatoon high school students heard from the leader of the Assembly of First Nations today.


National Chief Phil Fontaine spoke at the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations’ symposium called Honouring Residential School Survivors.


Fontaine says part of the reason he accepted the invitation to speak was because he knew many of the students are non-Native.


Fontaine notes today was a heavy day filled with sad stories — but he says he hopes the students walk away with a better understanding of what happened at the schools, and a realization that First Nations people are strong, proud and resilient.


Student Amanda Ulriksen was touched by the video shown this morning called Childhood Lost — a film that featured first-hand accounts from residential school survivors.


Ulriksen says it made her angry to hear what happened to children.


She also says it was good that the students watched the presentation, ” . . . because we might be able to change the ideas of people”.


One of the survivors featured in the film, Deanna Ledoux-Raine, encouraged students to reach out and not judge the next time they see someone staggering on the street.


She noted: “There’s a history to that . . . people don’t just wake up and decide to become that way”.


Ledoux-Raine credited her uncle for her turnaround.