Aboriginal men to share their experiences in digital storytelling project

The University of Winnipeg has received a $500,000 grant to study the intergenerational impacts of Canada's residential schools system.

The university announced on Monday that its Oral History Centre has received the grant from the Aboriginal Healing Foundation to produce a digital storytelling project.

As part of the project, researchers will speak with aboriginal men who were raised by those who were students of residential schools.

The latest study builds on similar research that was carried out in 2010, when six aboriginal women shared their stories of being raised by mothers who had to attend the schools.

Lorena Fontaine, an associate professor of indigenous studies at the university, said she shared her story of being raised by a residential school survivor.

"I felt acknowledged, for the first time in my life," she said.

"Because this period of my life that had such an impact on me, that I couldn't talk about, I finally could." Forced to attend schools

Residential schools operated during much of the 19th and 20th centuries, as part of a federal government policy aimed at forcing the assimilation of young aboriginal people into European-Canadian society.

A total of about 150,000 aboriginal, Inuit and M├ętis children were removed from their families and communities and forced to attend the church-run, government-funded schools.

Many students were barred from speaking their native languages or engaging in their culture at the schools. Some also reported experiencing physical and sexual abuse.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a federally-appointed panel that is documenting the residential school experience, has heard from the children of survivors about the effects their parents' experiences have had on them and on subsequent generations.

Fontaine said the aim of the University of Winnipeg study is to promote healing, adding that sharing her story helped her change her life for the better.

Researchers acknowledged it can be tougher for men to speak out about their experiences because they are generally taught to stay strong.

However, they added that staying silent can create anger, addictions and other personal issues.

The research begins this month in Winnipeg and runs until March 2014.(Source)

VIDEO Residential school impacts study

Responses to "Winnipeg researchers net $500K for residential schools study (Video)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    i am survivor of 'residential catholic boarding school' in amerikkka in the 40's and 50's and 60's... not much improved then either. and no studys for aboriginals in CATHOLIC schools in amerikkka.. on amerikka soil not rez.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This sounds similar to the Aussies aboriginals and there were public funded schools in UK that kids suffered abuse as well as orphanages. Abuse and brainwashing runs deep but hopefully this can all be stopped now.

  3. Anonymous says:

    God bless all survivor's to have help with their personal survival and overcome the problems holding them back from a healing. I pray for healings and overcoming for all who are in need. Amen and amen, Selah

  4. Anonymous says:

    The US government did the exact same thing to the natives. Now we have a Reservation full of people who do not know how to speak their own language. How is that right? There is no way to get what they have lost back. It is all such a shame....

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sounds all too familiar to the irish story, when the british took over our land, wewere forbidden to speak our language , then the Catholic church had all the power years of institutional abuse/ sexual abuse, we kist lots of our stories & customs & connection to our heritage

  6. Anonymous says:

    My mother in law told of her experience in the U.S. She told me of the abuse she was put thru at the hands of catholic nuns. She told me it made her too afraid to teach her on children how to speak their own language, Keresan. I heard her speak the language on a couple of occasions and it made me sad that my husband and his siblings will never know it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Its All there soil, sounds about right catholic clans man, both murderers, and petifiles!

  8. Unknown says:

    My great grandmother was a survivor. She was made to give up everything to do with her heritage. I have been trying to find records to trace my bloodline and keep running into dead ends. HELP

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