A Residential School Survivor’s Story of Survival and Resilience: AUDIO INTERVIEW

September 30, 2021, is the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
We are all Treaty people who are sharing this land and we must move forward in a good way.
Thank you for listening to and holding space for, the stories and voices of survivors of Indian Residential Schools.


From Canadian Heritage – National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Thank you to all who take an interest in learning about the troubling histories that we share as Canadians.
We all have to do our part, to learn and to know our true histories so we can cultivate a better path forward, together.

“…first night for supper….he put a plate in front of me and I said “Mahsi!” In my language, thank you.

And they took my plate away and I sat there and watched everybody else eat.”

Richard Stewart of Edmonton Alberta who is Gwich’in First Nations agreed to be interviewed for the September issue of The Beacon (a monthly e-newsletter) hosted through the Edmonton Heritage Council’s FIRE (Funding Indigenous Resurgence in Edmonton) Program.

Richard sat down for coffee and shared his story with EHC’s Indigenous Initiatives Lead, Pehbahmegahmegohk / Rayna. Richard’s Story is heart wrenching at times. His personal testimony discusses content discusses abuse or harmful behaviours.

This interview content was guided by Richard, with a few questions asked throughout. It was important to hear and share, Richard’s story in unedited, real, raw form, and for it to be told in his way.

Thank you for listening.

“…today, I still have some understanding my language, but I got to a point in my life where I didn’t even want to speak my own language.

…… I didn’t even want to hear it.

Disclaimer: Discretion advised: this audio recording contains subject matter pertaining to abuse, violence, and may be disturbing.

For those wanting to make a meaningful donation and support:
IRSSS – Indian Residential School Survivors Society

How Residential Schools Came to Be:

Embedded audio link to SoundCloud

More information about Orange Shirt Day – a day that honours the survivors of Indian Residential Schools and remembers those who did not. On September 30, we encourage all people to wear orange to raise awareness of the tragic legacy of residential schools.


  • Former Residential School students can call 1-866-925-4419 for emotional crisis referral services and information on other health supports from the Government of Canada.
  • Indigenous peoples across Canada can also go to The Hope for Wellness Help Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for counselling and crisis intervention.
  • Call the toll-free Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or connect to the online chat.

ECAMP and EHC commits to the journey ahead and the work needed to respond to the Calls to Action as guided by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Reports.

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