Boozhoo, Aaniin. My name is Ryan Slater. I’m glad you’ve taken the time to come out and watch the videos of the men who have taken part in this project. It takes a look back at the various histories that we have. It’s a dark chapter in Canadian history, but one that is very important to all Canadians. And for our young ones coming up, knowing our past and knowing where we are, and where our future is taking us.
My story is about my mom and her experience in residential school. She attended Brandon Residential School. It took me a long time to accept that and deal with it. Over time I’ve been able to interview a lot of our Elders, a lot who’ve since passed on, and they have shared those stories with me. Hearing about the atrocities of this dark chapter in Canadian history, I feel it’s very important that people learn about what has really happened, what the truth is. The words that we speak to you are our truth. It’s not something that’s written. It’s something that comes from our hearts. We hope that the videos help you on your own healing journey. Not everybody’s experience was bad and far too often, we hear about the negative. Mine experience as a second generation residential school survivor wasn’t as negative as I had great parents who always provided for us and put us on the right path in life, to where we wanted to go in life. I hope that you’re able to take this in and learn from our stories and that you too, one day, will be able to share those stories and let those things out. Far too often, we hold those negative things in and it builds up and comes out in a negative way. Hopefully, these videos help you come away with something positive, and, learn from that experience and those stories that we are sharing with you. Meegwetch.