This week a conference/gathering was held in Winnipeg, Manitoba for Survivors of the Residential School system. If one thing came out of this well organized gathering is that the effects are multi-generational. The conference was initiated by The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. They did a masterful job in getting people involved and having people take part. This is how a Gathering is done right. There were so many speakers and topics that anyone could have benefited in the Gathering.
I was but an eavesdropper in the seminars going on. It was a chance to see old friends, tease other Neechies and shop or wish at the crafts booths. It was also a reflective time. Many people are re-living the horror of abuse and want to try shed themselves of that hurt. I do not know how that can be done. The hurt carries on in their children.
Stories from the old people and from the not so long ago about how hard it was to live with the effects of ridicule, abuse, hurt, shame, and constant negative self-imagery can not be erased like a chalk board. It will take effort to fill the void that the Residential school system has caused in the social, cultural, spiritual psyche of the Indian.
This young man Wab Kinew was on hand to show case his family documentary. A very powerful portrait of the effects of abuse in the Residential School system. Take a look for yourself. I admire the courage of Elder Tabosonakwut and his family for their honesty.