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Saturday, September 16, 2023

Seven Generations Haunted by Île-à-la-Crosse School

 

Pauly Denetclaw
ICT

This story is published as part of the Global Indigenous Affairs Desk, an Indigenous-led collaboration between Grist, High Country News, ICT, Mongabay, and Native News Online.

NEW YORK — Seven generations of Métis, Dene and Cree children were taken from their communities and placed into a Catholic-run, government-funded residential school in Île-à-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan that is located in northern Canada. However, the survivors were left out of the country's reckoning with residential schools known globally as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. 

Métis elder, Antoinette LaFleur, 80, is haunted by the 10 years she spent at Île-à-la-Crosse.  She was taken to the school at five-years-old and left as a teenager. During those years, LaFleaur didn’t leave the residential school to visit home.  As her siblings started getting sent to the residential school she didn’t even recognize them.

“I never used to go home. Ten years I was in there, 10 years,” LaFleur said during a side event at the United Nations headquarters in April.

LaFleur is part of a class action lawsuit against Canada and Saskatchewan. During the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s investigations, the criteria for which institutions qualified was narrow, leaving out schools like Île-à-la-Crosse, said vice-president of Métis Nation Saskatchewan, Michelle LeClair, that represents some 80,000. This is because the school was supposedly run by Saskatchewan, not the federal government. Although Saskatewan officials deny the school was owned or funded by the provincial government. 

 KEEP READING: https://ictnews.org/news/left-out-of-truth-and-reconciliation

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