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Support Info: If you are a Survivor and need emotional support, a national crisis line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week: Residential School Survivor Support Line: 1-866-925-4419. Additional Health Support Information: Emotional, cultural, and professional support services are also available to Survivors and their families through the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program. Services can be accessed on an individual, family, or group basis.” These & regional support phone numbers are found at https://nctr.ca/contact/survivors/ .

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Thursday, April 21, 2022

Remembering St. Anne's students


Canada’s National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation says their records show at least 24 students passed away while attending St. Anne’s Indian Residential School throughout its 70 years in operation.

In memory of former St. Anne’s students:

- Abraham Moses Nakogee
- Alexandra Chookomoolin
- Anna Aitel
- Antoine Wisk
- Charles Hunter (Fort Albany)
- Emile Anishinape
- Emilien Aitel
- Gabriel Carpenter
- Imelda Edwards
- Jennie Kostachin
- John Kioki
- Joseph Metat
- Josephine Chookomoolin
- Madeline Sutherland
- Margaret Sutherland
- Matheiu Kamascatishishit
- Michael Sutherland
- Michel Matinas
- Raphael Katakwapit
- Raphael Tomykatie
- Sabeth Sutherland
- Sabeth Wabano
- Simeon Ashnipinishkam
- Therese Okitigo

Additional photos of the school throughout its history can be found through Algoma University HERE.

In 1992, Former Chief of Fort Albany First Nation, Edmund Metatawabin, presented evidence to Ontario’s provincial police about abuse at the former school, prompting a six-year investigation.

The OPP’s work led to seven former St. Anne’s teachers and administrators being arrested in 1998, with 156 survivors receiving some form of compensation by 2004 – two years before the historic Indian Residential Schools Settlement of 2006.

Documents from the investigation were released in 2014 after an Ontario Superior Court judge ordered the federal government to disclose them to survivors and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

But by that time, the federal government had already redacted over 12,000 documents from the record – which denied many survivors any amount of compensation.

Still, the documents that were released by Ottawa revealed the use of a homemade electric chair being used between the 1950s and 1960s, with a variety of reports of disturbing physical and sexual abuse such as beatings, rancid food, disappearances and much more.

“Innocent children were malnourished, physically assaulted, sexually abused, and tortured. They went to bed hungry and lived in fear of a homemade electric chair. Some were forced to eat their own vomit,” said NAN leadership, as they described St. Anne survivors’ experiences. 

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Canada's Residential Schools

The religious organizations that operated the schools — the Anglican Church of Canada, Presbyterian Church in Canada, United Church of Canada, Jesuits of English Canada and some Catholic groups — in 2015 expressed regret for the “well-documented” abuses. The Catholic Church has never offered an official apology, something that Trudeau and others have repeatedly called for.

no arrests?

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Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

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Did you know?

New York’s 40-year battle for OBC access ended when on January 15 2020, OBCs were opened to ALL New York adoptees upon request without restriction. In only three days, over 3,600 adoptees filed for their record of birth. The bill that unsealed records was passed 196-12. According to the 2020 Census, 3.6% of Colorado's population is American Indian or Alaska Native, at least in part, with the descendants of at least 200 tribal nations living in the Denver metro area.

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As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.

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Why tribes do not recommend the DNA swab

Rebecca Tallbear entitled: “DNA, Blood, and Racializing the Tribe”, bearing out what I only inferred:

Detailed discussion of the Bering Strait theory and other scientific theories about the population of the modern-day Americas is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it should be noted that Indian people have expressed suspicion that DNA analysis is a tool that scientists will use to support theories about the origins of tribal people that contradict tribal oral histories and origin stories. Perhaps more important,the alternative origin stories of scientists are seen as intending to weaken tribal land and other legal claims (and even diminish a history of colonialism?) that are supported in U.S. federal and tribal law. As genetic evidence has already been used to resolve land conflicts in Asian and Eastern European countries, this is not an unfounded fear.

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