Residential schools ripped children from parents' arms
LetterPublished: Wednesday, June 18, 2008
As a small child, my grandmother Elizabeth regaled me with many colourful stories of her youth. She was born in 1874 in the B.C. Interior, the very same year that the first residential school opened.
Some of her most painful memories (still at over 95) were of tiny children being ripped from their parents' arms -- of mothers running after the wagons full of crying children, then finally wailing and moaning in grief as the dust settled in the dry tracks.
The mandate of the government then was "to kill the Indian in the child." They were the children of my grandmother's friends, and some were her very own cousins.
The agony reverberated throughout the region. And that was the beginning of what would become horrors too great to utter aloud.
Who would listen to a small Indian child? Who would care if she sobbed all night? No one.
Corinne Lambert Murphy,