A new museum has been opened on the Ahtahkakoop First Nation with the goal of ensuring the dark legacy of Indian residential schools is never forgotten.
The museum is located within a local addictions treatment centre and contains video recollections by elders, artifacts from the Anglican Church and paintings.
Freda Ahenakew is the director of the Cree Nations Treatment Haven and she says giving the elders an opportunity to have their stories documented has helped with their own personal healing process.
“Well I think a lot of people, we’ve interviewed lots of people here, and they were telling us they were happy they got interviewed because this was the first time they’ve ever disclosed it at all,” she says. “They kept it a secret all these years but now that they know there’s others, they feel good about that.”
The paintings in the museum are by artist Ken Lonechild, himself a residential school survivor.
Big River, Chitek Lake and Witchekan first nations are also participants in the project.
The museum officially opened on Monday.