So thank you so much for coming. Thank you. It seems to me this hour is the longest time of the week for me. And what school did you go to? Where is that? By Kamsack, Saskatchewan.
Apple Daily News – 12222-03-15
Actually, it should be on the Keeseekoose First Nation. How old were you when you first went? I was 5 years old. Do you remember what it was like your first day?
Residential School Survivor Stories
Oh yes, I remember. Can you describe that? It was a day like today. It was Fall. I was excited. I was looking forward to going. They rolled in a big old green International truck, a cattle truck.
I remember it was green. I remember my grandfather helping me get on the truck, on the box, to help me climb on.
I remember standing holding on and driving along as we picked up other students. It was really exciting. I remember getting to the school. I think what really sticks out in my mind was the smell of the disinfectant they used in the school.
It was really harsh. Every time I smell that particular smell I always get that flashback of having been in that school. It was a special disinfectant. I still smell it every once in a while wherever I go. I remember getting into a fight with another little boy who ended up being my boyhood friend for the rest of the time I was there. His name was Mike. And going to bed. I remember going to bed.
It was still daylight. I found that a little unusual. What was it like in the Dorms when you went to bed? I remember the bunk beds and how all the beds were neatly made. I remember being assigned a top bunk. And I remember the guy below me. His name was Dennis. There again, smells were probably the most distinct thing about Residential School. I remember they gave us powdered toothpaste. I remember the smell of that and the kind of hand soap they gave us. We probably did.
What was the food like there? But St. That was probably the most delicious thing we had there.
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Fridays we always had some kind of fish. Oh yes, at supper time the reason I remember that is we used to get canned fruit for dessert and we used to make bets. Sometimes we would lose our dessert or sometimes we would win. I knew it was good for the staff because I was one of the boys later on in life that, later on, we hauled in the truck supplies for the school. When the supply truck would come in every so often, the boys would haul in the goodies. I remember the cases of bananas and the cookies and all that nice stuff.
Probably not. I found that kind of strange. Later on when I became an altar boy my reward was to get an orange.
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After I served Mass I would get an orange. Those who went to Confession that Sunday morning would be rewarded with an orange. Or if you went to Holy Communion you were given an orange. They had a pretty good incentive system to pray a lot.
Friday, 22 November 12222
Did you learn a lot in Residential School in terms of academics? I was one of the I remember going to a special conference with the school staff. I was supposed to make a presentation to the other school teachers but I was too nervous. I forgot what I was supposed to do and I failed dismally for them so they were kind of mad at me for that.
But I remember getting good marks. They were so long. For an hour every day we went to study. And then we had a little recreation program there which was not too bad.
I never experienced anything bad until later on, when I was older. But I remember a lot of the violence was from the older students, the boys that were there. What about teachers? The teachers? When I went there the Nuns were on their way out. But they still had animals. I remember me and my uncle Milton. Milton was retarded and I remember we used to go ride the pigs. The movies were the big highlight there. They had these old reel-to-reel things and you could hear them clicking.