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Survivors of Residential Schools Have Mixed Feelings Over Compensation Deal

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  • Survivors of Residential Schools Have Mixed Feelings Over Compensation Deal

    ************************************************** ************
    This Message Is Reprinted Under The Fair Use
    Doctrine Of International Copyright Law:
    _http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html_
    (http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html)
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    FROM: THE BRANTFORD EXPOSITOR NEWSPAPER

    _http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/webapp/sitepages/content.asp?contentid=13477
    5&catname=Local+News&classif=News+Alert_
    (http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/web...assif=News+Ale
    rt)

    Survivors of Residential Schools Have Mixed Feelings Over Compensation Deal

    By Michael-Allan Marion, expositor staff
    Local News - Thursday, November 24, 2005 @ 01:00

    Despite glowing words from native and federal politicians over a $2-billion
    settlement package for survivors of abuse in residential schools, some of
    those who suffered are having difficulty reconciling their pain with money.

    Lorna McNaughton, 72, has been waiting decades for a solution to the
    lingering pain of physical, verbal and sexual abuse she suffered during six years at
    the Mohawk Institute Residential School in Brantford.

    The Six Nations woman was part of a class-action suit on behalf of former
    pupils of the Mohawk Institute against the federal government, and was awaiting
    Wednesday’s announcement of a settlement with nervous anticipation.
    Class-action lawsuits could be derailed if the settlement package gets court
    approval.

    According to the terms of settlement, McNaughton is entitled to $10,000 for
    her attendance at the now infamous institute plus $3,000 for each of her six
    years there, for a total $28,000. There is also provision for an Individual
    Assessment Process, which allows survivors to apply for additional compensation
    for sexual and physical assaults.



    As she thought about the compensation package, McNaughton found herself
    reconsidering her life.

    “I’m 72, I’ve been turned upside down in my life, I have no parenting
    skills and my children have had a difficult upbringing,” she said.

    “When I consider all that, $28,000 is not a lot for a lifetime of abuse.
    Because I’m poor and have never had that much money all at once, they think they
    can put something over on me. But they always have, anyway. I’m native.”

    McNaughton can’t seem to bring herself to fill out a 78-page document for
    extra compensation for the sexual abuse she suffered.

    “I already went through it once. Why do I have to do that again?” she
    wondered.

    “When I think about that, maybe I’ll take what they’ve giving and leave it.”


    Inevitably, McNaughton’s mind goes back to when she was five years old, just
    before the authorities sent her to that school.

    “I want to live like the little girl that was me. My little girl was
    innocent and now they’re saying ‘here’s some money and that will settle what
    happened.’ Am I selling myself? I won’t spend it. I think I’ll set it aside
    somewhere.”

    Geronimo Henry, also of Six Nations, said the announcement has more to do
    with politics than recompense.

    “There’s a lot of politics with the election coming,” Henry said. “The
    Liberals are on the verge of getting kicked out. They’re trying to get all this
    money out there, hoping to get back in.

    “But I don’t think the money’s a big deal,” he continued. “I know some
    people that when they take the amount they’re supposed to get and divide it by
    the time they were there, it works out to about 50 cents a day.”

    Six Nations Chief Coun. David General was highly critical of the minority
    Paul Martin government’s timing of the announcement shortly before its expected
    fall in a non-confidence motion.

    “This is badly timed,” General said from Kelowna, B.C., where he is
    attending a major federal-provincial-aboriginal conference which starts today. “You
    don’t announce money to solve something like the residential schools question
    on the eve of an election.”

    With the outcome of the election uncertain, many will fear so goes the
    commitment.

    General declined to give an opinion on the details of the settlement.

    “Only the survivors have the right to make the comment on whether it’s
    enough or not. And there are other questions. Has justice been done? Have the
    perpetrators received their proper retribution?" he said.

    “Only the survivors can know whether this political solution is the one they’
    re willing to accept. It may provide closure for many, but it has the high pr
    obability of reopening a closed wound.”
    Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic

  • #2
    weeelll, both of my parents went through the residential school system the delmas residential school in saskatchewan. both of them have issues with how they were treated - my father still hides food around the house and he's 77. both "escaped" sexual abuse both both suffered through physical abuse.

    hit EVERY time they spoke their language?

    having their heads shaved on arrival?

    can you imagine being 5 years old and your "christmas" dinner was some bread, potatoes and some rice, three raisins in water (suppose to be rice pudding) while the priest and nuns sat at the big table with a whole turkey dinner before them?

    while there are others out there, both male and female that were repeatedly raped by the priests/teachers?

    some young girls were forced to bathe an adult nun?

    having to lay in bed HOPING that they would go to another girls'/boys' bed?

    the obliviation (sp?) of a culture and language?

    this compensation will not "heal" these wrongs ... and sad to say some will just end up "drinkin it up". some have alcohol and drug problems stemming from what happened to them ...

    as practically nothing has been done in terms of counselling - in the "evaluation" process all were asked to describe what happened to them. most have NEVER spoken of it until then and many wish not speak of it again ... and many do not return to the system of compensation. most will not ever receive "their" compensation because they do not want to speak of what happened to them ...
    Watch your broken dreams...
    Dance in and out of the beams of a neon moon

    Comment


    • #3
      Last edited by badmaninc; 12-01-2005, 03:30 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I was thinking that all of those people who want to know about our culture being cool and pretty, need to speak with our people who attended the residential schools. All of us who live in our communities know we all have the scars from these places. I was sitting at a drum with my cousins and uncles when we were singing for survivors one time. He told us that when he was a young boy he had to attend "the rock". It was a school that's located on a small island. My uncle said it was these days he loved and hated the most in his life. He hated how they were treated, being passed around by the priests and brothers. Being beaten. He said that some of the other children from other reserves are still his best friends to this day; he was almost 55 at the time. He said that he never ever calls them though. We asked why and he responded that seeing them although he loves them like brothers and sisters is too painful a reminder of all his experiences there. We sat there in silence, most of us crying for our uncle. When we were asked to sing a prayer song for them, it was probably the best we ever sounded. It made us feel good to help our uncle like that but he couldn't even sing with us that day. After he hugged all of us. The crazy thing about all of this is none of us were under the age of 30 or displayed much emotion. I came home and talked to my mom about it and she echoed the same sentiment. She went to the same school as her little brother and didn't even make the trip to the ceremony. She still hates the school. What I don't get is that she is still very committed to the catholic church. Anyway, we still should make them dudes read these kinds of threads.

        Comment


        • #5
          that's partly why I posted this one Bad....
          Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            the stories that every person who attended the schools in canada and the US would fill a library the size of texas....im glad this is finally being brought to light and addressed in canada and i wish it would follow in the US...im not holding my breath tho either...thank you for posting it Blackbear
            sigpic
            TRUDELL FOR PRESIDENT

            (and no,this isnt zeek)

            Comment


            • #7
              my mother and father too have "good" memories of friends they made for life there.

              my mother tells me/us stories of how a good friend of hers, ms. leona tootoosis "hosted" a sundance one afternoon. the story is both funny and sad at the same time. how they decided one day that they would have a sun dance and ripped their under skirts for their "flags", went round the yard trying to find a suitable location and sang songs. and how leona and another girl were beaten after a nun found them ...

              another story of how my dad and some of his friends got into the storage shed and tried to "steal" peanut butter by putting in their pockets ... well it made sense to them at the time .. lol. and how they were all "caught" and reprimanded by a search by the nuns for peanut butter lined pockets ...
              Watch your broken dreams...
              Dance in and out of the beams of a neon moon

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by sokoki_wolf
                the stories that every person who attended the schools in canada and the US would fill a library the size of texas....im glad this is finally being brought to light and addressed in canada and i wish it would follow in the US...im not holding my breath tho either...thank you for posting it Blackbear
                Chwe'n,
                I was wondering the same thing in regards to the US side. I have always thought that Canada was behind the times moreso than the U.S. when it comes to Natives, but this is something that the U.S. should follow suit on. Even though the Canadians are only putting up a "band aid" with this money, it is a start. To "really" give what is deserved by all of the victoms, it would bankrupt both the U.S. and Canada.

                Also, how do you compensate all of those that are no longer here to "fill out a application", and who will tell their story?

                Blackbear, do you know if the U.S. is going to do something like this, or not? Probably the latter unless their is some type of political fallout that "shames" them into doing something.

                Ooneh,
                Chris
                "Find out what people will submit to, and you will have found the exact amount of injustices and wrongs the people will allow to have imposed on them" ..Fredrick Douglas

                Comment


                • #9
                  i would expect the US not to follow suit any time soon ... if they did they would have to give compensation for all the african-americans (slaves). and everyone knows how long they've been waiting too ...
                  Watch your broken dreams...
                  Dance in and out of the beams of a neon moon

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    i dont think it will happen any time in the near future in the US...too many truths would have to be admitted to and look at the time frame thats been involved with the catholic church and the abuse cases and the time its taken to even acknowledge in canada....
                    this is my own opinion ,based on talking with many people over the years from both sides of the border and life experiences but i think in many regards ,canada treats native people with a level of respect and recognition that doesnt exist in the US....i know thats a general statement and doesnt apply in many cases ...but i see just in the humanites areas,more recognition by government in canada of first nations artists...i dont see the us govt reaching out in any way to native peoples here...if anything,its bare minimum and fought hard for...and not to say at all it hasnt been a hard fight in canada either,but i think where first nations peoples are was gained via a different means of negotiation than occurs in the united states...recent news stories from canada have been talking about the attempt to raise the standard of living on several reserves ...water quality etc...hopefully these arent empty words...i dont see many positive steps being taken like that in the us....jst my thoughts
                    sigpic
                    TRUDELL FOR PRESIDENT

                    (and no,this isnt zeek)

                    Comment

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