Turning “anger into a good thing”, this Mi’kmaw boy is walking 200 kilometers for the survivors of the boarding school
When Landyn Toney laced his shoes on the sixth and final day of walking, the 12-year-old Mickmore boy had already walked 180 kilometers-every step reminded himself that his The ancestors were forced to walk through their pain.
Landyn set off on Canada’s National Day from Shubenacadie Boarding School, where his great-grandmother spent her childhood, NS Bible Mountain, about 45 kilometers north.
This year, Aboriginal leaders and allies called for mourning and reflection on this holiday, as more than 1,000 unmarked graves were found in or near three former boarding schools in British Columbia and Saskatchewan last month. And emphasize the ongoing systemic racism in this country.
But Langdon said he was frustrated that his school hardly acknowledged the impact of the cemetery or the boarding school system on survivors and their families.
“I’m not the kind of person who just wants to vent his anger,” he said by the highway after five days of walking. “I want to express my anger by doing something good.”
His mother supports his enthusiasm. Marsha McClellan and her son created a route within days of his idea, taking them from home to the aboriginals of Annapolis Valley, where Langdon was born. This route is about 203 kilometers long, which is equivalent to nearly five marathons.
Langdon and his mother are expected to arrive in Annapolis on Tuesday night.
“I am in pain, I am proud, and my heart is heavy; many different emotions are happening,” she said on Monday. “Maybe we will feel some of the children’s feelings when they try to go home from the boarding school-we will feel the physical pain and the emotional pain, and maybe we will have a better understanding.”
She said that she thinks their journey has begun to resonate with people across Canada. Their Facebook page It has gained more than 8,700 fans and they have raised $15,000 so far.
She said: “There are too many hidden truths. Many Canadians don’t know what’s actually happening in boarding schools and how many people it affects.” “We want to change this.”
“Next time I come back…”
A committee will decide how to allocate funds for indigenous causes, but Langdon said he wants to ensure that some of the funds are used to create more Mi’kmaw courses for education courses in Nova Scotia.
He said that the support he received along the way inspired him: survivors walked with him, and people lined up in orange clothes on the highway overpass to cheer for him.
In an interview, when a car honked the horn on the highway, he stopped and smiled-only to be interrupted by the sound of the sirens because the ambulance also showed solidarity. For the past five days, the RCMP cruiser has been escorting him on the highway.
Watch | 12-year-old walks 200 kilometers for boarding school survivors:
On Monday, his aunt and uncle joined him.
They paid tribute to their mother Regina Toney, who was a survivor of Shubenacadie boarding school but died in 2011. She is also Landyn’s great-grandmother.
Eileen Lloyd not only recalled her mother’s story about the school system, but also recalled her own escape in 1952. She said that when an Indian agent came to her school in Annapolis Valley, her principal told her and her brothers to go out of the back stairs and ran home to hide there.
She said that the agent came back a month later, but went to their house that time and her father made baskets there.
Her father unceremoniously told the man, “‘You just left my reservation’,” she said. “He took his knife and chopped it [the man’s] Put on your tie right away-he said,’Next time you come back, it will be your throat. ‘”
Marktoni said her mother’s time at boarding school and the fear of being taken away continue to affect her and her brother’s family. They don’t speak Mickmo.
Tony said that this is why the native chiefs of Nova Scotia advocate for people to restore their culture now.
He said this is also why it was spiritual for him to see his great nephew walk for the survivors and those who died in school.
“It means a lot to me to see a child come out in this way and accept such a journey,” Tony said. “When I see him, my bones get cold; he is very dedicated.
“I feel honored for him… he has my heart.”