Jakob D.

Napanee, Ontario

Kingston Regional Fair

A Nation Moving Forward - Truth And Reconciliation

A Nation Moving Forward -Truth And Reconciliation will provide an overview of the history of Canada's residential schools and the development of The Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I will discuss how we as Canadians can help ensure the history of our Aboriginal communities isn't forgotten but respected as we move forward as a Nation working together to correct the wrong that was done.

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

The most interesting thing I learned about my topic was about the poor conditions that children living in residential schools had to deal with. Not being able to see their family, or speak their own language, forced to cut their hair, live in crowded dormitories and wear uniforms similar to the life of a prisoner instead of a child. Everything they knew and loved was taken away.

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

One of the most important lessons I have learned from working on my project is the impact government decisions can have on us as Canadians. To realize decisions made over a century ago still have such an effect on our communities today. For example the long term effects of depression and addiction that are today impacting the children and grandchildren of residential school survivors.

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

I feel very fortunate to have a much better life than those of the children who lived in residential schools. I go to school where everyone is treated as equal no matter what your heritage, we have opportunity to express ourselves freely and to learn from each other without fear.