Dear Division 16,
Please read the article found at the link below. The article reports on the upcoming demolition of the residential school in Northern British Columbia. The demolition will take place on February 18.
Please read the article, look at the picture of the residential school today. Please also listen to the audio clip found on the left hand side of the page. The interview is important for answering the questions below.
In the audio clip, Chief Robert Joseph refers to the fact that the residential school has been closed for 40 years, but the building still stands. He also talks about how the Namgis First Nation used the building for many purposes including a school, a Tribal office and a college, among other things after the residential school closed. He speaks about how even though it was used for positive and productive purposes, the building can never be a positive place for the people in that community and that the community is glad that the building will be demolished.
For your response this week, please think about this event and respond to ONE of the following questions:
1. When buildings or places that represent negative or harmful history in Canada are destroyed, what effect does that have on our ability to remember the wrongs that the building represented (think about residential schools, internment camps etc). What can we do to uphold our responsibility to remember this history once the physical reminders are gone?
2. Think about the apology to First Nations for the residential schools. Do you think that the church and the government should take part in the demolition of the school? Please explain why or why not?