We were children and we are human beings: Tsartlip Indian Day School student experiences




Carolyn, Sampson Thulih’Wul Wut’ XET’XOT’EL,WET

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Storytelling was utilized to capture the experiences of Tsartlip Indian Day School students by telling their stories. Storytelling is a way of living, being, and a way of knowing, while walking with the voices of our ancestors. Storytelling is used to fill in the gap of available resources for Indian Day School students to ensure their experiences are not minimized, disregarded, or misunderstood. Indian Day Schools were omitted from the Indian Residential School Agreement and their experiences were insidious as teachers, staff, and administration ingratiated themselves into our day-to-day life. It is crucial to fill in the gap of academic information to create awareness and understanding, which can provide the context of one’s social history. The legislation (Indian Act 1868 - 1976) (Venne, 1981), policy, and field manuals created an environment that set the stage for the teacher-to-student violence, staff-to-student violence, and student-to-student abuse to occur first at the residential schools and later at the Tsartlip Indian Day School. The inter-generational violence was perpetuated from 1920 – 1996 in the guise of an educational environment on the WSÁNEĆ Peoples, which is the span of either three or four generations. In my family, it is three generations (parental, mine, nieces/nephews).



Indigenous, Storytelling, Indian Day School, Residential School, Intergenerational Trauma