Kuper Island Residential School.

Awareness film night will deal with harsh truths and reconciliation

Film night will include residential school survivor speakers and smudge

No guilt. No blame.  Just residential school survivors telling their stories.  Just listening and giving them space.  That was what took place at the recent Truth and Reconciliation forums held in Vancouver and Victoria.

On Wednesday, February 12, Sooke will be having its own Truth and Reconciliation evening assembled by Awareness Film Night and Edith Newman.  After a traditional welcome by T’sou-ke Chief Gordie Planes and Elder Shirley Alphonse there will be a short film called Kuper Island: Return to the Healing Circle. Following the film two residential school survivors will talk about their experiences there.  The film’s producer Peter Campbell and artist Carey Newman will also be in attendance.

Kuper Island Residential School was called ‘Alcatraz’ because it was on an island off the coast of Vancouver Island.  For almost a century hundreds of Coast Salish children were sent there where they were forbidden from speaking their native language or seeing their parents and were forced to deny their cultural heritage and instead adopt the Anglo-Christian language, attitudes and beliefs. They often endured physical, psychological and sexual abuse.  Some died trying to escape on logs across the water.  More died later, trying to escape their memories.  In the film Kuper Island: Return to the Healing Circle, filmmaker Christine Welsh and producer Peter C. Campbell join survivors of the school 20 years after its closure as they begin to break the silence and embark on an extraordinary healing journey.

Following the film two former residential school residents, Alex Nelson and Belvie Brebber will speak about their experiences being removed from their homes as small children and thrust into the residential school environment.

Alex went to St. Michael’s school in Alert Bay, run by the Anglican Church and Belvie went to the Kuper Island school discussed in the film.  Alex will accompany his talk with a slide show.

Elder Shirley Alphonse will bring healing words to the occasion and offer smudging to anyone attending. (She will explain what smudging is for anyone who doesn’t know.)

Carey Newman will present his healing art project Witness Blanket (www.witnessblanket.ca).

It is well past time to bring the residential school chapter of B.C. (and Canadian) history out of the shadows and into the light.  Everyone is invited to join this Healing Circle as a speaker or as a listener.  It will be held at the EMCS theatre from 7-9:30.

Donations will be accepted to cover costs.

Keep updated at www.awarenessfilmnight.ca

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

Just Posted

Sooke council approves new funding for chamber of commerce

A $16,000 service agreement to be created

Sooke council delays vote on Whiffin Spit memorial wall

Sooke district council has again delayed a decision to erect a memorial… Continue reading

VIDEO: Langford man battling cancer honored with hot rod, motorcycle procession

Friends and family support Patrick O’Hara on his 73rd birthday

Langford Fire calm mother and daughter after being trapped in elevator

Three-year-old girl given stuffed animal to calm nerves

Langford businesses can expand onto sidewalks, public spaces

Council passes new bylaw supporting business expansion

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

As SD84 schools look to reopen, Kyuquot and Zeballos opt out

Schools in Tahsis and Gold River will open on June 1, with 30 per cent students expected to come in

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

Most Read