By Margaret Hele
SAULT STE MARIE – Douglas Cardinal and Murray Sinclair were keynote speakers at the fourth annual Shingwauk Gathering at Algoma University. They shared their personal involvement and awakened the audience’s feelings towards the experiences of past generations and the impact on succeeding generations.
Alice Corbiere, an attendee at the event is a fan of Douglas Cardinal’s work.
“I was honoured to have met Cardinal,” said Corbiere. “He has become so prominent to the Canadian landscape; he made me feel proud.”
Cardinal designed the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa.
“His design is in curves and circles rather than just lines. There is room for all to move around and that is what is so different,” said Corbiere. “Also, I was really impressed because he was a residential school survivor.”
While visiting the Canadian Museum of History, Corbiere was also excited to see a photo of a fellow Garden River First Nation citizen, former fastball pitcher Darren Zack.
The second speaker, Justine Murray Sinclair, chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission called the residential school system an act of genocide under the United Nations definition. The policies have had an inter generational systematic effect on aboriginal people and Canadian
Residential school survivors from across Canada related their personal experiences which now comprise a report which contains two million words. This was very traumatic experience for both the Residential schools’ survivors who came forward to tell of their personal experiences and for the interviewers who recorded gathered their stories.
A summary of 400 words which describes the history of residential schools in our country and recommendations for healing has been released.
Sinclair believes this is a piece of material that will contribute to education and understanding