I used to love tattooing up and wearing red and white, dreamt the only real tattoo I’d get would be of a Canadian flag. I loved going to Parliament, or street parties, or fireworks to join with festivities. I remember when I was 8 y/o I sang (not well) the national anthem to friends and family. I cherish those memories. This year, my definition of what it means to be Canadian has changed, and I don’t feel like celebrating is the best way for me to recognize Canada.
St. Joseph's opened as an Orphanage in Fort William in 1870 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste Marie. The school accepted both white and Indigenous children so was considered an orphanage. It then evolved into a boarding school. I closed in 1907 as the CPR was being built closer to Thunder Bay. The school moved to the corner of Arthur and Franklin St. (the current playground of Pope John Paul II), closing in 1966.
*I am very behind on my posts because life happens... I am still learning and will continue to post - please notice the date as per the title. **Photo above was created by Kels Pitchenese, see their website in the Eagle Lake FN paragraph. Today, I acknowledge that we traveled through Treaty 60 to Treaty 3, and are residing in Treaty 3 territory. We traveled through Fort William First Nation, Wabigoon, and Eagle Lake. We were unable to reach Grassy Narrows and so did not make the 2-hour journey off the highway to there.
Does Rupert Ross' book have a place to be teaching Indigenous Healing? And if so, is this where I want to be, or where we should be learning from. Do authors like Laurie Graham, who write about Indigenous issues from a White-allied perspective have a place? Does this very blog I am writing have a place? What is that place? Are we taking away from Indigenous writers and story tellers?
Today (June 21) has been entitled National Aboriginal Day , which began in 1996 on summer solstice. In 2018, Indigenous Peoples hope that this will be renamed to National Indigenous Peoples day. I support this change (plus making it a holiday for celebrating the many cultures, languages, and first peoples of the land which Canada resides on). There was a wealth of community celebrations across many reserves, many of which we were invited to… However, our route permitted Thunder Bay as our destination, a city with a rich Indigenous population who would be having a large PowWow as well.
Today, I acknowledge that we traveled through the Robinson-Superior Treaty, where we are staying. We traveled through Pic Mobert First Nation and Pic River First Nation where we were met with the most welcoming people.
"Our last stop for the day was at Algoma University who is home to Shingwauk Residential School...Shingwauk was built near Garden River First Nation in the early 1870s, but burnt down within six days of opening. The new site, where Algoma is located now, was opened in 1874 for about 100 years."
"Today, I acknowledge that we traveled through Treaty 61, the Robinson-Huron treaty and are residing in Treaty 61. We passed through Mississauga First Nation, Thessalon First Nation, and Garden River First Nation...We’ve learned a lot about First Nations love and respect for the land. We all have a lot to learn to care for Mother Earth."
"Today, I acknowledge that we traveled through treaty 61 (Robinson-Huron) to treaty 60 (Robinson-Superior), where we will be residing. We traveled through Batchewana FN Rankin community and Michopicoten FN Gros Cap community. Both communities kindly gave us permission to visit."
Spanish Residential School. Sorry, I just had to repeat it because that was a real experience. We had to search long and hard to find this place. I decided to make an additional post for Saturday about this experience because it was so, incredibly, friggin powerful.