Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Christie Residential School

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In 2006 the government of Canada agreed to a settlement package of $2 billion dollars as compensation to the victims of Canadian Indian Residential School System . Approximately 86,000 Native Canadians were removed from their homes in placed in the residential schools. Christie Residential School on Meares Island was one of these schools.

I visited the school in 1974, a year after it was closed. My wife had attended as a child after spending a year in the hospital being treated for Tuberculosis.

 "The school is removed from all Indian Settlements, which is  a great advantage that can be appreciated to its full extent only by those engaged in the education and Christianization of this race."  - Father Augustin Joseph Brabant.

Students were forbidden to speak their native tongue and a large number were subjected to physical and sexual abuse.
"It was hard to get children. The parents did not like to part with them. It needed a lot of coaxing and persuading." - Augustin Joseph Brabant
We visited the school in 1974, a year after it was closed
The view from a window

The building was abandoned except for a Catholic Brother and Nun who I suppose acted as caretakers.

The place had a certain mood

Quotations taken from Reminiscences of the West Coast of Vancouver Island

Out of Print

Augustin Joseph Brabant 1845 - 1912

Source : Mission to Nootka 1874 - 1900

Source : Mission to Nootka 1874 - 1900