For more than 120 years, thousands of Aboriginal children in British Columbia – some as young as 4 years old – were sent to Indian Residential Schools funded by the federal government and run by the churches.
Lil’wat children were taken to St. Joseph’s Mission at Williams Lake, St. Mary’s Indian Residential School in Mission, and the Kamloops Indian Residential School.
This isn’t ancient history. These schools took children from the 1890s up to 1981. The intent of the Residential School System was “to kill the Indian in the child.”
There are no certain figures on how many Lil’wat children were taken – often, families aren’t even aware – but it was a policy that had a major impact on our friends and neighbours.
The Winds of Change was initiated over a decade ago with a commitment to work together to address the impacts of drug and alcohol misuse on our communities.
Reconciliation Week is an opportunity to acknowledge the impact that the Residential School system has had.
Join us at thewellnessalmanac.com this week as we raise awareness.
“I really hope that people can open their minds and hearts and become aware to the trauma of Residential Schools but also to the strengths in aboriginal communities. The perspective I work from is that there’s a lot of resiliency, strength and healing. Too often we fail to recognize the strength of our communities and the recovery that is already well underway.” ~ Ursula Carus, Mental Health Team Lead at Pqusnalhcw Health Centre in Mount Currie
For anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of his or her residential school experience you are encouraged to call the Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) which is available 24 hours a day.
Visit http://www.pemberton.ca/residents/winds-of-change/reconciliation-week/ for more information.