IRS survivor Chris Herodier with Kitchissippi member Laurie Joe
A church in Ottawa’s Island Park neighbourhood was the scene of a unique act of acknowledgement as members of Kitchissippi United Church remembered the dead and the surviviors of Mount Elgin Indian Residential school in Muncey, Ontario. Mount Elgin was administered by the United Church of Canada.
Christopher Herodier, an IRS survivor from James Bay, joined Elder Albert Dumont from Kitigan Zibi First Nation as they both shared their stories of the impact of residential school experience on themselves, their families, and their communities. After the group completed decorating the tiles, they were smudged by Albert. Click on the image above to see a slideshow of images from the event.
As always, the learning was followed up by social action. The actions take by members of the community after the event included writing letters to the Prime Minister to address the issue of violence against Indigenous women, postering the neighbourhood with pictures of missing Aboriginal teenagers Maisy Odjick and Shannon Alexander, signing petitions for re-instatement of funding to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, and signing up to be a Witness in the Human Rights Tribunal hearings into discriminatory funding for First Nations children in the child welfare system.