“Gone, but never forgot”: man.Sophomores write emotional poems about boarding school
TORONTO-A group of second-graders in Manitoba paid special tribute to the children who died in the Canadian boarding school system and wrote a poem after their teacher taught them what happened in these schools.
At Oakbank Elementary School in Oakbank, Marne, a 7-year-old child in a class heard about thousands of Aboriginal children (many of whom were not older than them) who wanted to do something after they had been forced to enter a boarding school.
In response, they compiled a poem illustrated and created by students to commemorate the 215 children found in an unmarked grave near a former boarding school in Kamloops, British Columbia, last month.
“Passed but never forgotten” is the title of this poem. Videos posted to YouTube It also includes children reading their poems aloud.
“The wind is mourning for the children,” part of the poem reads. “The children were buried, but the earth held them in its arms until they were lucky enough to be found.”
Teacher Tina Latrofa said that she wants to educate her students about a part of history that we have never learned in previous generations. She showed them pictures of the boarding school and talked about how the students stayed there for months or years.
“Their main words are:’How can they do that? How can they take their children away from their parents?'” Latrofa said. “This is how they relate to it.”
In class discussions, the students talked, and the teacher helped them write their feelings into words and pictures to create this poem.
Tina Latrofa said: “These words took me away, took my heart away, I was so shocked.”
“I felt very sad when I heard about those 215 children,” Carla Brinkman, a second-year student who contributed to the poem, told CTV News. “I just think I want to do something to make everyone notice this.”
This gave the students a new understanding and empathy.
“I hope people don’t forget it, and I don’t want it to happen again,” said another student, Elayna Telford.
Her classmate Hunter Van Rysell added that it reminded them of “how lucky we are to have parents return to those children’s day [could] It’s not. “
School curricula usually do not teach young children about boarding schools, and when this topic comes up in higher grades, it is often covered up.
Recently, school boards such as the Calgary Board of Education and the Toronto District Board of Education have pledged to improve the curriculum and further advance Aboriginal education in the classroom as required by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report.
If you are a former boarding school student in trouble, or are affected by the boarding school system and need help, you can contact the 24-hour Indian boarding school crisis hotline: 1-866-925-4419
Provide additional mental health support and resources for indigenous people Available here.