New, painful task for repatriation committees

  • Dec. 8, 2004 1:00 p.m.

By Heidi Bevington–After a decade of work to repatriate ancestral remains from museums, the Old Massett and Skidegate repatriation committees have a new and painful task before them.
An estimated 50,000 aboriginal children died in residential schools, and the committees decided to assist in the repatriation of their remains. “It was a very difficult subject to talk about, and one that we had to be absolutely sure that we could do, and the committee voted unanimously to do,” according to Andy Wilson of the Skidegate committee.
The committees will learn more about the project in January when Rev. Kevin Annett visits the islands. Rev. Annett, of the All People’s church in New Westminster, has been working with residential school survivors for the last ten years.
His work began in Port Alberni where he was a United Church minister between 1992-1995. He began hearing stories about residential school from survivors. When he presented church officials with his findings, he said, he was fired.
Rev. Annett continued to be involved in the issue. He began attending a healing circle in Vancouver in 1996, and in 1998 attended a tribunal where survivors shared their stories. The residential school experience involved more than physical and sexual abuse, he said. Survivors shared stories of murder and sterilization. It was a common practice for healthy children to be put in beds with children dying of tuberculosis and other diseases, he said resulting in a dead rate of about 50-percent.
There is a “move among survivors to recover the remains of those who died in residential school,” said Rev. Annett.
For more information, Rev. Annett recommends two internet sites. http://canadiangenocide.nativeweb.org and www.hiddenfromhistory.org.

Just Posted

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Gwaii Haanas Report: Talking About Everything plan

By Victoria Leslie A dinner of crab legs and clam fritters, halibut… Continue reading

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

CHN seeks injunction against logging at Collison Point

Weeks after ordering an end to a blockade there, the B.C. Supreme… Continue reading

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Murder of Paul Bennett – a respected Peace Arch Hospital worker and ‘champion of sport’ – ‘not random’

Serial killer Robert Pickton transferred to Quebec: victim’s family

Pickton was convicted in December 2007 of six counts of second degree murder

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

Most Read