NEWS

Boat burned to heal scars from Residential School days

08/09/2012 10:19 EDT | Updated 10/09/2012 05:12 EDT
A symbolic boat burning took place Thursday as part of a healing process for survivors of Indian Residential schools.

The boat was constructed to recall how children in remote parts of Saskatchewan were taken away from their families to attend the school.

Elders from the Lac La Ronge Indian Band recalled the trauma of the trips.

Tom Roberts, a support worker for survivors of the Residential School experience, explained that sharing stories of what happened is a major part of the healing process.

"The elders have stories to tell, and each story they will write it down on a piece of paper and put it in the boat ... and we're going to burn them," he said. "It's like a sacred fire. And when its burned to ashes hopefully some of the memories will be left behind. Hopefully."

The community plans to build another version of the boat, to be kept intact, as a reminder of the Residential School experience.

On Wednesday, the boat was on the water for a re-enactment of how children were transported to schools.

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