Residential school experiences recounted in documentary film presentation Thursday

Our Voices, Our Stories, at the K’ómoks Band Hall Thursday

  • Nov. 30, 2015 6:00 a.m.

Our Voices, Our Stories, a new film by renowned director Barbara Cranmer that exposes Canada’s brutal residential school history, will be shown at the K’ómoks Band Hall (3320 Comox Rd.) Thursday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m.

The film recently won Best Documentary Short at the 40th Annual American Indian Film Festival.

An estimated 9,200 children passed through the doors of St. Michael’s Indian Residential School in Alert Bay, B.C. between 1929 and 1975. Numbers replaced their names, their aboriginal languages were forbidden, family ties broken and histories denied. Scores of children died at the school, many were abused and many never returned to their families; following generations continue to be fractured by the horrors of the colonial government and church mandated residential school systems.

Our Voices, Our Stories features the powerful accounts of residential school survivors including Evelyn Voyageur, Margaret Wilson, Edward Dawson, Hank Nelson, Bobby Joseph, Mary Speck, Stan Humchitt, Stanley Hunt and Janice Grant, and family members Roberta Wildman, Carla Voyageur, Kodi Nelson and Jasmine Hanuse. Director Cranmer (T’lakwagilogwa) is a member of the ‘Namgis First Nation and lived in Alert Bay.

During a special ceremony for the residential school survivors in the ‘Namgis ‘bighouse’, the film records the poignant words of the late Chief Frank Nelson: “Let the healing begin…Now we can look proudly at our children and know they will never be taken away from us again.”

In 2015, an important step was taken towards healing for coastal First Nation communities when the looming old Anglican school building was finally demolished. St. Michael’s brick walls tumbled down as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada prepared its comprehensive call to action ‘to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation.’ Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau has pledged to act on the TRC recommendations, in particular to immediately launch a national public inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women, implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and end chronic underfunding of First Nations education. Five of Cranmer’s previous films have also been honoured with AIFF top awards or nominations.

There will be a dance performance after the screening. Admission is by donation. For more information, contact Ramona Johnson at 250-339-7702.

Watch the Our Voices, Our Stories film trailer at vimeo.com/141833166

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sawyer, a northern saw-whet owl that became synonymous with Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society, passed away peacefully over the weekend. Sawyer would make numerous public appearances with MARS staff in and around the Comox Valley and Campbell River. Photo supplied.
Popular MARS ambassador owl dies

Submitted MARS Wildlife Rescue has lost one of its mightiest ambassadors. Tiny… Continue reading

442 Transport and Rescue Squadron from 19 Wing Comox assisted in helping an injured hiker down from the top of Mt. Benson near Nanaimo Jan. 23. Photo by 19 Wing Comox
With video: 442 Squadron assists mid-Island mountain rescue

The crew on the Buffalo hand-launched 15 flares

Local musician and artist Daisy Melville created a watercolour portrait of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from the recent American inauguration, and with help from her mom, is now selling t-shirts and more with funds going to the Comox Valley Food Bank. Image submitted
Comox Valley artist turns Sanders inauguration meme into art for good

All proceeds from the sale of shirts, sweaters and more will go to the Comox Valley Food Bank

Comox Valley medical clinics are all open, including the availability to book face-to-face care (i.e. for a physical examination) as per your clinic’s protocol (most clinics operate a “virtual care first” policy). ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
Comox Valley doctors offer answers to local COVID health care questions

Public service announcement submitted by the Comox Valley Division of Family Practice

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Tahsis mayor Martin Davis stands with an old-growth tree in McKelvie Creek Valley. The village of Tahsis signed a Letter of Understanding with forestry company Western Forest Products to establish McKelvie watershed as a protected area. Photo courtesy, TJ Watt.
Landmark deal expected to protect Tahsis watershed from logging

Tahsis and WFP agree on letter of understanding to preserve McKelvie Creek Valley within TFL 19

FILE – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his opening remarks at a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau

Trudeau says he spoke to Moderna CEO on the morning of Jan. 26

Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
2 years after his riderless horse was found, police believe Merritt cowboy was killed

Two years after he went missing, Ben Tyner’s family makes video plea for information

A ground worker wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 unloads lobsters from a WestJet Airlines flight at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, January 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Trudeau teases stricter travel measures; Canadians flying to U.S. now need COVID test

Prime minister says measures need to not hurt imports and essential trade

Seats in the waiting area of domestic departures lounge of Calgary International Airport are seen with caution tape on them on June 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
3-in-4 Canadians in favour of banning interprovincial travel: Poll

According to Research Co., 80 per cent of Canadians would like to see restrictions imposed

The shirts sell for $45, with 30 per cent of proceeds from each sale going to Battered Women’s Support Services in Vancouver. (Madame Premier/Sarah Elder-Chamanara)
Canadian company launches ‘hysterical’ T-Shirt to combat health officials’ use of word

A partnership with Tamara Taggart will see women broadcast the word on a T-shirt or tote bag

McDonald’s on Nicol Street in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
McDonald’s in Nanaimo reports COVID-19 case

Employee at Nicol Street location last worked Jan. 17

Most Read