Residential schools museum opens at Ahtahkakoop
A museum retelling the abuse at Indian residential schools has opened at Ahtahkakoop First Nation west of Prince Albert.
It features videos of stories told by elders, artifacts donated by the Anglican Church, and paintings by a former residential school student Ken Lonechild.
"The paintings that you actually see are Ken's memories," said Ruth Martin, who works at the Cree Nations Treatment Haven, an addiction treatment centre where the museum is located.
"It's Ken's life that he actually had gone through" Martin added. "So his memories of being taken, his memories of returning, his memories of running away while he was in school."
The centre's director Freda Ahenakew says it's important to teach future generations about what went on.
"You know we have to think about our children 'cause it filters down to them, all the negative impact that has taken place with their parents," she said. "And we just want to help people get that out of the way."
"We don't know what it's like to be hungry. And we don't know what it's like to be taken from our parents. And we don't know what it's like to go through things. And so I think our kids maybe need to understand what the generations went through for almost a hundred years."
Three other First Nations, Big River, Chitek Lake, and Witchekan, also participated in the project: