A $500,000 grant from the Aboriginal Healing Foundation will help the University of Winnipeg’s Oral History Centre produce a digital storytelling project to document the intergenerational effects of residential schools.
Researchers will speak to men who were raised by students of residential schools, which builds on research from 2010, when six aboriginal women shared their stories about being raised by mothers who were forced to attend the schools.
“This project will help us further understand how the residential school legacy passes on between generations,” said Dr. Julie Pelletier, chair and associate professor, Department of Indigenous Studies at the university, in a press release. “We need survivors to share their experiences, which will help the healing process and engage Canadians as we move together along the path of reconciliation.”
Work on this project, titled “Children of Survivors: The Intergenerational Experiences of Residential Schools,” began in September and will continue through March 2014. The previous project, titled “Intergenerational Effects on Professional First Nations Women Whose Mothers are Residential School Survivors,” was conducted by the Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence.
Lorena Fontaine, an associate professor of indigenous studies at the university, shared her story during the first round of research.
“I felt acknowledged, for the first time in my life,” she told CBC News. “Because this period of my life that had such an impact on me, that I couldn’t talk about, I finally could.”