Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pearl Calahasen received a standing ovation in the Alberta legislature Monday for an emotional speech where she recounted the abuse she endured at a residential school.

Monday was the first day the legislature was in session since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission held hearings in Alberta at the end of March.

Calahasen was one of several MLAs who made speeches about residential schools, but hers was the most personal.

Calahasen choked back tears as she spoke about being targeted because she was the smallest girl at school.

“The nuns were very cruel. They used to pick on me because I was so tiny,” she said.

“There were many times I was hit by a ruler, it was always across the back, and I do have scars for that, but I did get through it.

“It was no fun, but I was probably the least of those that were affected by physical abuse.”

Click on the image to watch part of Calahasen’s speech in the Alberta legislature.