REGINA – It was a bittersweet moment for survivors of residential schools in Saskatchewan, as many of them took a step towards healing at a ceremony on the George Gordon First Nation, Thursday afternoon.
“I questioned whether I was gay or whether I was straight. Not knowing who to talk to about those things – do I like boys more than I like girls? Not knowing how to talk to girls and having that big question mark in my life. And I knew it was wrong,” said Edward Bitternose, member of the George Gordon First Nation reserve.
In 2008 Stephen Harper made a public apology on behalf of the federal government about the Indian residential schools. Though many in George Gordon First Nation think more work can be done.
“Well I really believe that the community still needs a lot of help. We still struggle with a lot of addiction. We still struggle with a lot of employment issues, and when people do have employment they don’t stay as long as they could,” said Shawn Longman, Chief of George Gordon First Nation.
Community members say everyone on George Gordon First Nation knows someone who attended the local residential school. While it closed in 1996, the healing process continues.