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An Apology for Poplar Hill

Photo above: Poplar Hill (Ont.) residential school is pictured in A Brief History of Northern Light Gospel Missions, 1977, by Mary Horst. (Courtesy of http://www.canadianmennonite.org.)

Representatives of the administration and staff of the agencies—Northern Light Gospel Mission and Impact North Ministries—that operated Poplar Hill Development School and two other residential schools, have issued an apology statement to former students. It apologizes for how:

“. . . we physically inflicted pain, or added to the pain of your soul by our actions. . . .”

“. . . we underestimated or ignored the impact on you of your separation from your family. . . .”

“. . . our ignorance or negligence caused you to suffer additional emotional and physical pain at the hands of other students. . . .”

“. . . school personnel were not properly screened, and when personnel were not adequately trained to relate to you in culturally appropriate ways. . . .”

“. . . we acted as though we were culturally superior to you. . . .”

“. . . we co-operated with the national plan to force your assimilation into Canadian society. . . .”


Related article: Mending the sacred hoop

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What Residential Schools Did to Aboriginal Languages