45-years today, the West Coast District Council of Indian Chiefs demanded the closure of the Alberni Indian Residential School and ushered in a new, positive era of education for First Nations children.
Charlie Thompson was one of the victims of notorious pedophile Arthur Plint at the Alberni Indian Residential School.
He said people should never forget what happened to First Nations children in Canada, although he wishes he could.
Ditidaht Chief Councillor Jack Thompson – who was taken from his parents as a young boy said the ceremony was bittersweet – he wants upcoming generations to know what happened at residential schools, but he’d rather not remember the abuses he suffered there.
On August 3rd, 1973, the West Coast District Council of Indian Chiefs, now called the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, negotiated the closure of the Alberni Indian Residential School, and began building their own schools and curriculum to protect future generations from the abuses and cultural genocide that was ingrained in the residential school system.
Yesterday the Tseshaht First Nation hosted a ceremony at the site of the former Indian Residential School, to recognize survivors, and celebrate the return of children in the homes of their families, and the cultural and language revitalization that grew out of that.