Fort Providence, NT
Deh Gah Gotíé
I am Dene and I speak a little of my language, Dene k’e. The aboriginal people who have lived around residential areas for years know stories about the residential schools and how it has had an impact on us. Even though there are other languages and nations, I think everybody knows stories of what the government did to us in the residential schools.
Before the residential schools were built and the children were forced to go to school, the aboriginal people were happy. Once the schools were built, children between the ages of four to sixteen had to go to school where they were taught to speak either French or English and were forced to do labor.
In my story, I write about a young girl’s life in residential school. Her story speaks for the thousands of unheard voices who also attended the residential schools around the country. There were no hearts in this school, but only cold eyes. You read about how she is treated in a first person’s view, which tells you first hand of this terrifying experience.
The topics and events I wrote about were told to me by elders and teachers. It took a lot of research to get everything down to make the story come to life. When I wrote this story, I made sure to include the aftermath and what it does to people even though they aren’t in residential school anymore. These traumas continue to affect us. They tried to steal our cultures, but we didn’t let them succeed.
I hope my story will let other people who don’t know much about our history understand what was going on. Residential schools were a terrible time and those experiences damaged a lot of people, but they made it through.