After decades of struggle, the last piece of land for this BC boarding school is about to fall
Warning: This story contains some details that may be painful for readers.
A day after the closure of Lower Post Boarding School in northern British Columbia for 46 years, an excavator slammed its last standing building on Wednesday.
Approximately 600 people gathered to watch the excavator bucket break through the wall and cheered-a moment that has been brewing for decades.
“This is something our elders and our community have been fighting for for years,” Harlan Schilling, deputy director of the Daylu Dena Committee, said in an interview with CBC News.
Voice: from CBC @GordonLoverin A shot of the demolition ceremony of the lower boarding school. In the next few days, we will get more information from this event. Children from nearly 40 Aboriginal communities in British Columbia and Yukon go to school. pic.twitter.com/JeibBUPlPe
Politicians, including the governor of British Columbia, John Hogan and the governor of Yukon, Sandy Silver, as well as boarding school survivors and their families and supporters, trek to small communities in the Dees River and Liard River The site near the confluence was ceremonially demolished dozens of kilometers south of the Yukon border.
The rest of the structure will be razed and burned in the future.
Schilling said that Wednesday’s activities, including speeches and the groundbreaking ceremony of the new community center, indeed belonged to generations before him.
“They didn’t let the system or boarding school destroy them,” he said. “They continue to support and advocate for this [demolition] Is about to happen. “
“They are monsters”
Funded by the Canadian government and operated by the Roman Catholic Church, Lower Post Boarding School was opened from 1951 to 1975, affecting thousands of Aboriginal families in the Yukon and British Columbia
Elder Casca and artist Mary Caesar Attended the school and told Noon cafe On Tuesday, host Leonard Linklater said that she felt fear and anxiety at the thought of returning to the demolition site.
“The Lower Post boarding school is run by sadistic priests, nuns and supervisors,” she said. “They are monsters.”
Kathie Dickie from Fort Nelson, British Columbia, also studied at The Next Post, and she remembers being completely deprived of her identity when she arrived.
“Everyone has the same haircut. You have been assigned a number. My number is 19. My clothes, my face towel, and my towel all have a number.”
Dickie did not go to participate in the demolition, but she said she sometimes thought about destroying the building herself.
But now, she said she was not sure how she would feel if it disappeared. “This may be a way to regain power,” she told Carolina de Ryk Liming North“But there is still that heavy feeling.”
The plan to demolish this building on National Indigenous People’s Day earlier this month is Postponed after animal remains were found at a nearby construction site, Triggering an investigation by the RCMP.
Listen | Kathie Dickie, a boarding school survivor, tells her story:
Liming North15:12Regaining power: Survivors tell about the demolition of a boarding school in Post, B.C.
The community center will become the “new heart” of Xia Post
Schilling said that community elders would eventually want to see the rest of the building burned down, but considering Extremely hot This week in Western Canada, that will have to wait.
“Then [survivors] Decide what they want to do in that place, whether it’s a monument or a monument,” he said.
Schilling explained that the building reminded the community of a dark and painful chapter of the past, and until recently it was part of the daily operations of the administration building.
“We are forced to get out of trouble, and this is what we have,” he said.
Now, Xia Post, which has about 300 people, will build a new community center with a gymnasium, cafeteria, post office, and government service agencies.
At the end of Wednesday, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at the site of the new center and trees were planted on the banks of the Liar River.
Schilling described the building, scheduled to be completed in 2022, as “the new heart of this community. Our previous one was sour.”
Listen | Deputy Director Harlan Schilling’s plan for the next postal boarding school venue:
9:12After decades of struggle, the last piece of land in Lower Post Residential School is about to collapse
Anyone affected by boarding schools and those affected by the latest report can get support.
This Indian Boarding School Survivors Association (IRSSS) Call toll free 1-800-721-0066.
A nationwide Indian boarding school crisis hotline has been established to provide support to former students and those affected. People can call the 24-hour national crisis hotline: 1-866-925-4419 for emotional and crisis referral services.
The NWT Helpline provides free support to residents of the Northwest Territories 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is 100% free and confidential. The NWT Helpline also provides follow-up call options. Residents can call the helpline 1-800-661-0844.
In Nunavut, Kamatsiaqtut Helpline Open 24 hours a day, call 1-800-265-3333. People are invited to call for any reason.
In the Yukon, people in Whitehorse and Yukon’s rural communities can access mental health services through mental health and substance use services. Yukoners can arrange quick access consultation support at Whitehorse and all MWSU community centers by dialing 1-867-456-3838.