Three events in Prince George are scheduled in October that will take the next steps in the healing process for survivors of residential schools.
Carrier Sekani Family Services, Lheidli T’enneh Band and the Indian Residential School Survivors Society are co-sponsoring a two-day gathering on October 21 and 22 regarding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission looking into Canada’s residential school system.
Following this gathering, Carrier Sekani Family Services is hosting a Healing Ceremony and Potlatch on October 23 and 24 to honour those individuals who have been impacted by the intergenerational effects of residential schools.
On June 11, 2008 the federal government offered an official apology for the Indian residential schools, where numerous children were subjected to physical, mental, sexual and emotional abuse.
“The apology by the government is a good first step; however, we as a community need to come together and honour those survivors and show our support for their healing journey.” said Warner Adam, executive director of Carrier Sekani Family Services in a press release.
On October 23, Carrier Sekani Family Services will host a Wiping of the Tears ceremony for Carrier Sekani Family Services community members who are survivors of residential schools. This will be followed by a traditional feast to honour individuals who have contributed to the goals of Carrier Sekani Family Services.
As well, the feast will welcome Carrier children who are currently in Ministry of Children and Family Development care, to Carrier Sekani Family Services. The transfer of guardianship from the Ministry to Carrier Sekani Family Services has been an ongoing process and is a significant step for First Nation communities to take back control of caring for their children.
The Carrier Sekani Family Services events are being held in succession because those who survived residential schools were the first impacted, but their children and grandchildren have also faced the intergenerational impacts of the residential school system.
All events are at the Prince George Civic Centre. The gathering is open to all northerners.