The Indian Residential School Museum of Canada’s taking shape at the Rufus Prince Building in Portage, which was one of those schools.
It’s an initiative by Long Plain First Nation.
There are only two rooms with displays so far, but Executive Director Lorraine Daniels says more is coming, starting with a meeting October 16th and 17th, with the National Trust of Canada.
“As well as National Truth and Reconciliation, and also trying to bring the profile of the museum up,” she says. “So that we can have access to more funding. The other project that I’m working on is to have this whole area designated as a national historic site, and I’m working with Heritage Canada and Parks Canada.”
Daniels is a residential school survivor, and talks about how that impacts her work with the museum.
“When I see the blankets that represent the residential school survivors, and those that have never made it home, it’s very sensitive,” she says. “But I see the museum going further. We have more space that’ll be available for us January 1st, where can have our displays. And also we have a project coordinator that’s working on a project to interview survivors of the residential schools.”
Daniels feels it’s important for the museum to keep the legacy of residential schools going.
“The dark period of our lives,” she calls it. “And to bring an awareness to all of Canada the damage it did to generations of survivors. It’s also affected their families, and the communities as well, so I think we need the support of all of Canada to keep this museum running.”
-Article courtesy of Portage Online