Joanne Henry has been speaking to Yukon students about her experience in residential school for years.
Before a mandatory unit was introduced territory-wide, Henry, the executive director for Whitehorse’s Committee on Abuse in Residential Schools (CAIRS), has spoken many times to students at Vanier Catholic Secondary School as part of their religion courses.
“Since residential school has been talked about, there’s been a bit of a change in the Yukon,” she said, sharing a story about a young man with whom she spoke in one of those classes.
“His dad went to the liquor store. He went in and the young fellow was in the vehicle. When his dad came back out, there was a bunch of the guys sitting there,” Henry recalled. “And the dad said, ‘Oh yeah, look at those drunk Indians sitting over there,’ and the boy looked at his dad, and he said, ‘Dad, you know if you went through what they went through in residential school, you’d be sitting over there as well.’” Continue Reading