A day for remembering today, for truth and reflection and commemoration. On this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we honour the survivors of Canada’s residential schools as well as those who never returned home.
From the collection of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, this photograph shows students from the St. Philip’s Residential School in Saskatchewan in 1940. Run by the Catholic Missionary Oblate Sisters, St. Philip’s history dates back to 1902 and the construction of a boarding school on the Keeseekoose First Nation, a Saulteaux reserve near Kamsack. The NCTR page for St. Philip’s (here) tells this story:
Poor conditions in the school led to its closure in 1914. It reopened in 1927 as the St. Philip’s school. In 1957 the school farm ceased operation and the boarding school was increasingly used as a residence for students attending local day schools. During the 1960s, a period when sexual and physical abuse was a widespread problem at the school, a school supervisor was dismissed for mistreatment of students. The school closed in 1969.
As the NCTR also notes, a National Residential School Crisis Line has been established to provide support to former students. This 24-hour Crisis Line can be accessed at: 1-866-925-4419.