SVDN’s 3rd Annual Residential School Survivors Gathering (08.30.17)

On Wednesday, August 30, 2017, Sioux Valley Dakota Nation held its 3rd Annual Residential School Survivors Gathering on the grounds of what once was the Brandon Indian Residential School, and previous to that, the Brandon Indian Industrial School. We had several survivors of the residential school attend and many shared their stories with other individuals throughout the day. Smudges and healing ceremonies were available to those who wished it, and the opportunity for many to get educated about residential school and the healing and progress that has been made since Canada finally put an end to this destructive system.

The day was filled with invited speakers and presenters to give information about several projects, future hopes and what is currently being done within Brandon and the surrounding area. First presenters for the day were Karen Wilson Baptiste, Brydget Lewicki, Desirée Theriault and Andrea Doussis from The University of Manitoba. Bringing their displays of their concept ideas for SVDN’s potential treatment Centre. They had reviewed how the UofM was inspired from the previous year’s gathering and were inspired to be involved. Karen’s presentation will be made available here at a later date.

Brandon Urban Aboriginal Peoples’ Council was represented by Jason Gobeil, who was later joined by Barry French. Jason first shared some of his own history and how intergenerational trauma from residential school had affected his own family. He then spoke of the progress that BUAPC has been making in and around Brandon, including the erecting of 13 foot tipi within Brandon, the first being set up outside City Hall and the Brandon Police service buildings. Brandon also has plans to convert the optimist soccer fields into a park which can be used for Pow-Wows and traditional practices for aboriginal people in Brandon.

Rev. Barb Jardine brought the Brandon Indian Residential School travelling photo display to show to the people, which is owned by the United Church and is currently being housed by Knox United church. For many, this would be a first time to view this display.

Additional speakers for the day included Tricia Logan with the National Center for Truth and Reconciliation, Reeve Heather Dalgleish, MLA Doyle Piwniuk, and Chief Vince Tacan.

We would like to thank all who made the 3rd Annual Residential School Survivors Gathering possible, and look forward to bringing people together for next years gathering.