‘Day of happiness’ celebrated

Swan River First Nation chief and council preside at the memorial ceremony Oct. 18 at Swan River First Nation. Left-right are Councillor Dustin Twin Jr., chief Gerald Giroux, and Councillor Buddy Giroux.

Pearl Lorentzen
For South Peace News

Swan River First Nation erected a monument to its Indian Residential School survivors in a moving ceremony Oct. 18.
The project was started by April Giroux and Amanda Woodman.
“It is a day of happiness,” said Giroux.
Many survivors have told her they didn’t get to celebrate their birthday at the school. Therefore, at the unveiling of the monument all of the survivors received birthday presents. There was a birthday cake. Also, Swan River School and Kinuso School students made cards for the survivors.
Survivors told Giroux the food wasn’t very good at the schools.
The event also included a feast prepared by a Swan River First Nation chef and a soon-to-be chef, both of whom work in Edmonton.
The unveiling also acknowledged Kamloops 215. These were the first of a series of unmarked graves found at former residential schools across Canada in 2021.
One of the speakers mentioned the search for graves on the land of St. Bernard’s School in Grouard started Oct. 14 by using ground penetrating radar.
Swan River members attended both St. Bernard’s School in Grouard and St. Bruno’s School in Joussard.
St. Bernard’s was open from 1894-1957 while St. Bruno’s was open from 1913-69.

Share this post