Manitoba camp offers support, healing for residential school survivors

 By Dave Baxter

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A summer camp planned for next month will invite those who have survived Canada’s residential schools to connect with other survivors, and to work towards healing and recovery.

The Pimicikamak Cree Nation (PCN), also commonly referred to as Cross Lake, has announced the Mamawitenamatowin Summer Healing Camp will take place in the community that sits more than 750 kilometres north of Winnipeg, beginning on July 11.

With revelations and discoveries of what is believed to be unmarked graves near former residential schools across the country over the last year and with the recent news of anomalies being found in the ground in two Manitoba First Nations communities, PCN Chief David Monias said the community believed it was time to set up a large event, all with the goal of supporting those who were forced into residential schools.

They also wanted to hold the event, as they now undertake their own search for unmarked graves in the community near where the former St. Joseph’s Indian Residential School once stood.

“The focus of the Mamawitenamatowin Summer Healing Camp is to continue to facilitate the healing journeys of the residential school Survivors, especially in light of these findings,” Monias said in a media release.

“Cross Lake is undertaking its own search for unmarked graves beginning on July 11, 2022. During the Summer Healing Camp, there will be a tour of the search site, including the observation of a search.”

According to Monias, the event will focus on healing for survivors, and include several activities including healing workshops, sharing circles, and numerous other activities for all ages, and participants are invited to camp on the grounds where the event will be held.

“Organizers invite all Survivors who attended St Joseph’s Residential School or another residential school to join the Nation at the Mamawitenamatowin Summer Healing Camp, along with their families,” he said.

“Anyone and everyone are invited to attend.”

-Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.





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