Paris S.

Rama, Ontario

Simcoe County Regional Fair

Residential Schools: The Intergenerational Impacts

As another failed attempt at assimilating Indigenous People, residential schools have impacted our people for generations. This project explores perspectives of survivors and generations that follow. A visit to one of the schools and hearing stories reminds us that the legacy of these schools continues.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

The most important thing I learned is that my Papa attended residential school. I am not happy that he went but he ran away and successfully escaped the brutality of the Mohawk Institute.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

Our people who went to the residential schools often had a rough life. They lost their language and family. Other Canadians need to know the truth so history does not repeat itself.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

Traditionally we followed laws of respect and believed in important teachings. Residential schools treated children horrifically. Even those not hurt physically, mentally or sexually, suffered the loss of family, culture and spirit. Now our First Nation school is taking back language, culture and standing up for our beliefs and way of life.