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Survivors of Indian residential schools hold healing ceremony

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.

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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.

 

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