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Non-indigenous residential school survivor speaks about his childhood at St. Anne's

May 30, 2021
Did I run away because my skin was fine? I don't know, I know that not all of my young friends were spanked or beaten or whatever, not all of them my mother had the option of home

school

ing us, but she decided not to and there was no other option and I call them PR nuns, but When mom and dad went to look at the possibility of us going to st. Anne's, the PR nuns told them. Oh, we have the cream of the crop of teachers here, everyone has their education, so imagine in the morning that I wake up in your house, since that is what I am used to.
non indigenous residential school survivor speaks about his childhood at st anne s
We are in fear or canoe and now I have been beaten and dragged to St. Basically, from Anne's kicks and screams I discovered that it was not my skin that made me feel special, but that I felt like a little prince of the Company of the Hudson Bay. I had learned classes and learned about racism and suddenly I'm in a dormitory and I realize that I don't think the Hudson's Bay Company can protect me here. I don't know what to do. I like those two guys that ran away, they brought them back and they had died, they had died and they brought them back on sleds and We were all gathered in the front yard like in a prisoner of war camp and there were children crying and my sisters They tell the girls especially that there were tears flowing and the nuns were saying, "Shut up, shut up," while this was happening.
non indigenous residential school survivor speaks about his childhood at st anne s

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non indigenous residential school survivor speaks about his childhood at st anne s...

I felt like I had to keep anything personal in my mind, like lock it up because it doesn't apply here and you survive, you have to survive, it wasn't something that made me run away, it was just that I had to get out. From there I told my sister I'm leaving tonight and I don't know if she decided to leave because she wanted to do well or if she wanted to protect her younger brother, I'm not sure but I remember there was snoring and people were looking at me and some comments, but you know, It's getting to the point where people are falling asleep and I acted like I was going to the bathroom when I shouldn't and then just walked out the door. my coats hanging along the wall I put on my coat, I put on my boots and then I go down to the front door and my sister is there, it's the middle of the night and we're not sure if we're religious or not, but we sure start praying I'll tell you like the silent praise of prayers as we ran as fast as we could down the path in the moonlight and every branch I looked through the undergrowth I thought might be a dog charging towards me, it was really scary it was like walking through molasses so anyway we went out on the ice and then we just skirted the shoreline, I don't know, maybe half a mile by mile, walked down the trail and walked home and that was the first one. time we stayed up all night and I thought: this is great, we are a home, our parents will understand that this is serious and that we had to escape, so here we are knocking on the door, my mother is, you know? surprised and my dad is a little disturbed, I actually remember sitting there having breakfast and then I saw the tacos suddenly appear over the snowbank and it was a swamp buggy going through the snow and coming into our yard and I knew they had found us and my parents talked to them and the usual conversation.
non indigenous residential school survivor speaks about his childhood at st anne s
I'm sure how they could have done this and I'm sorry to bother you and who knows what they were saying, but there was a lot of conversation and suddenly my mother gasped because the Mother Superior said that, by the way, there were polar bear tracks on top of her paw prints. children, so anyway I thought they wouldn't send us back there, but the decision was that it was time to go back to

school

, I thought. Well there's no hope so I can't I can't escape and that's when I started banging my head against the wall to end it all so I tried to kill myself in several ways one was hitting my head and This is on the wall of cement.
non indigenous residential school survivor speaks about his childhood at st anne s
I stuff my braces or whatever I can find in my nose to stop my breathing and outside and keep in mind this in winter, it's very far north so it's pretty cold. I would take off my jacket and sit down. the snowbank to try to freeze me and the nuns would have to come out and try to put my jacket on. I don't think I've done it like you know hundreds of times. I think I probably did it maybe five or ten times, probably a few. People would say you're acting crazy, but I would say that crazy is a natural reaction to a crazy situation.
There is a fear that if you tell someone and they don't care, you will have that pain and feeling all over you. again and I know I had that feeling that someone will care and that's a fear that I have when I try to talk about this and I think it's an important message. I think I have a perspective that is unique in history, unique in Canadian history. you

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