Assignment #1 Week of January 19

For the last two weeks, we have had guest speakers help bring to life many aspects of Canadian History.

Dani brought experiences from Canadian Immigration and information about Refugee claims, Christina brought alive the history of Public Education and literacy for adult learners through Frontier College, Dr. Barman invited us to imagine the creation of Stanley Park and its effect on the community, Josette shared her experiences as a survivor of Residential Schools, Jane wove a story about Feminism and Social Justice through the lens of the women in her family and Joey helped us climb aboard boxcars with the On to Ottawa protesters.

How lucky are we to have such amazing people in our community!  Choose one of the presentations we heard last week and describe one of the moments contained in their presentations.  Using that moment, imagine the point of view of one person and explain how they might have experienced the moment.

You’ll need at least 6 sentences to do it properly.  Tell the moment in the first person, like a story.  This means using “I” to describe the experience.

For example, if I were to describe the moment from Jane’s presentation where her mother decided not to become the head nurse in the Hospital, I would do something like this:

“I was surprised and delighted when they offered me the position.  Finally, my training would pay off.  It was rare for a woman to hold such a position, and it was the hard work of women like me who had changed the world.  My face fell when the man across the desk told me that an expectation of the job was was that all Nurses must be unmarried and childless.  I tried not to show my tears, as I wanted a family, and was engaged to be married. This was a choice no woman should have to make, and silently vowed that these options would not be denied to my daughters.”




  1. Scarletcat

    I absolutely hated sewing up the holes in the boys socks, that was our job in the residential school. Us girls got the cleaning jobs and the boys got education to have better jobs when they were older. Those thoughts circled my brain as I made the long walk to the headmasters office. When I arrived I begged him for a different job anything was better than sewing up socks. A long pause silenced the room, he let out a big sigh and told me that I could have the job of picking out nits out of the little girls hair. He was a good man, and I gratefully exepted. He also told me that for every louse I find he would give me the equivalent in candy. That was my first good memory in residential school.

    • dickensdiv16

      Wow, Scarletcat. This is very powerful and I really like how you wove in a number of facts that you heard in Josette’s presentation. You’ve taken her story and turned it into a moment that shows, not tells, a lot about the experience of Residential School Survivors

  2. purple giraffe 47

    I’m choosing to do it on when Josette said that she had to parade through the halls of residential school because she wet her bed
    ” I woke up to wet sheets this was what I was afraid of. My mind bulged with cruel ideas of what Mother Superior would do to me, would I be struck like all the other little girls who did something wrong or something worse. 3 min. later a sister came in and checked the beds when she came to mine she took one look at the soaked bed sheets and grabbed my arm along with the sheets, then did the same to several other children then we all lined up in the hallway and all of the children who wet there beds were to walk down the hallway with the sheets over there heads, I couldn’t take the humiliation, I stopped walking, Mother Superior poked me in the back with a sharpened stick I began to bleed. And then it was over I’d reached the end of the hallway. I would never have to do that again, from then on I never let the sisters even hint about me wetting the bed I would get out of bed before she even came into the room” ❤

    • dickensdiv16

      Purple Giraffe 47, you’ve used some really convincing language to show the intense feelings that many students experienced at Residential School. You included a lot of information from the presentation last week with empathy and a thoughtful choice of information.

  3. Doctor pineapple

    For my narrative story I will talk about the first nations girl who’s house was going to be taken down for the road to be built through Stanley park.
    “The first thing that I heard was the constant mumble of the men out side and the loud clanking of there tools and machines. I came outside and they all stared staring at me like I was some freak, immediately someone came over to me an started talking, I used the little english I knew and asked “What is going on”. He said “We are building a road through here so we’re going to have to take down your house for it to go through”. “But we have lived here for so long here and this was our Grandfather’s house” I said. “Yes but the council said this has to go through so either get your belongings and move, or we’ll go through your house with you in it”. “All I could think about in that moment was about how my little sister would handle it, age and I were going to go into town today to the market and get some fresh fruit, and now we have to leave our home and find somewhere new to live”.”This is one of the most unfair decisions I have ever had to make I yelled at them in my native language, but know one could here me as I walked away”…

    • dickensdiv16

      Doctor Pineapple, This is wonderful. You’ve conveyed the confusion of the moment for those affected by the development of Stanley Park and how the process failed many people. The frustration that must have been experienced by the residents of the park when their houses and livelihood were taken away from them is huge and you’ve given that experience a voice here.

  4. The awesomest

    I was so excited to go to school. I was excited to learn and to be abe to see my siblings,but when I got there all my excitement faded away. I saw all the girls who had short hair and wondered if that was going to happen to me and if it did when and what else was going to happen to me. Why was everyone wearing the same clothes? Why are there no boys here? Then I wasn’t very excited at all.

    • dickensdiv16

      Aweseomest, you’ve conveyed the disappointment that many students at Residential School experienced. You’ve alluded to the “code of silence” that the families described when they went back to their families.

  5. cheese curds

    i got up to the sound of bulldosers i ran to the door to see three white men standing thare talking to my father i said to one of the men what are you doing? he said billding a rode whos roed this is not are roed is it white mans rode?

  6. balloongirl123

    I was shocked that when Josette was talking about residential school.Josette said if you talk your own language you will get punished.But when one of the teachers left a chocolate bar on the table and it had black cardboard around it this girl she had never had a chocolate bar so she took the bar and ate so that was her first time eating a chocolate bar when she was done she licked the cardboard and then her tongue got black and then the teacher was looking for the chocolate bar then she told all the kids to stick there tongue out she found that girl and then she got punished.One of the things which good that Josette’s dad or mom will send one dollar for and she will use it to buy a lollipop.


    I was jumping with joy when I found out that I could go to school with my big sister, but when she gave me her advice, I was shocked so i did not want to go, but I had to. It took a very long time to get to Cooper Island. So what they did was take as far away as possible because they did not want us to go home to our families. when we arrived we had to be checked by the nuns for lice and if we had it we would have had to sit in a chair with some sort of poison on are heads and then we had to have hair cuts. The first night I stayed i wet my bed and since that had never happened to me before so I went up to the nun and told her what had happened to me and so she made me and all the other girls who had wet their beds and we had to parade around the school with the sheets on our heads and another punishment was to wash them in freezing cold water, but what I said to my self was that I am never going to be punished like this again so I got up early before the nun came to wake us up and so then I never had to go parade around the school in shame.

    • dickensdiv16

      THE_MOST_AWESOME_PERSON3710, you really thought hard about your moment. You included a tonne of detail from Josette’s presentation and really got the feeling, the loneliness and the fear that the children experienced.

  8. cheese curds

    I woke up to the sound of bulldozers and loud machines. I looked out my window to see two white men talking to my father. I went outside and said to the men, “what are you doing?” They said, “building a road.” “Whose road is it,” I said, “Is this a white man’s road? This is not our road.” Then the men told my father and I we had to leave. “We’ve had this house longer than you’ve even heard of this place”, I said. The men motioned to our house and said, “knock it down.” I cried and kicked, but my father held me back. The last sight I saw of our house it was being crushed, as walked away with our bags.

  9. Subway2go

    I woke to the smell of urine in my sheets. Only I was up, everyone still sound asleep in their rock hard beds. I got straight out of my bed got dressed and waited. Minutes later the screaming of the nun woke everybody. Once everybody was starting to get up, I walked formally over to the nun and said ” I wet my bed.” The nun screamed back ” You good for nothing rotten Indian.” Minutes later I was parading through the hallways of this horrible place with my urine covered sheets over my head. It was was unbearable humiliation. This must have been one of my worst moments I had in Residential Schools.

  10. Aldwyn 2000

    The white men have come to take me and the other children from my village away. The white man who always takes the children to the truck he drives is coming to take me away. Suddenly I am being poked by one of the other children who is not from my village and I am being snapped to reality because the white man who drives the truck is pulling over. Me and the boy who poked me are being pushed past to get to the already filling up square right in front of what I have only ever imagined… The OUTSIDER’S school. After I have gawked at the school for a couple of seconds the boy disappears and I am lost in the crowd of children. A lady in a dark dress is standing proudly on the top stair. She is shouting commands at some older kids to open the doors and let the new children in. when we finally line up as she has instructed we wait our turn to sit on the stool in front of her. Now it is my turn, I take my seat on the stool and wait for her to do something. Suddenly I hear the razor sharp scissors slicing through my hair and I jolt from my chair, I run for the mirror I glimpsed on my way in and look at the ragged and short hair on my head. Then I feel the lady’s hand on my neck and I freeze with terror and fear, then I feel the anger rising inside of me and I lurch away. This is my way of perceiving an aboriginal child going to residential school.

  11. PointyHedgeHog11

    My heart was pounding ,we were approaching a tunnel in the Rockie mountains . It unexpectedly spiralled up jerking me to the side ,then everything went black … I could barely breath ,the coal dust stinging my eyes .
    It felt like we were in that tunnel for ages ,but finally we came out and all you could see were prairies as far as the eye can see . Clinging to the top of the box car , I could see many more men coughing and wheezing. As we enter the prairies , a man much older than I looked across and met my eyes . He said ” it’ll all be worth it laddie” . It was a smooth ride trough the prairies but there were many bugs , some even hitting me in the face.
    Suddenly we heard a squeaking noise and the train started to slow . We had finally reached Regina . But the first thing we saw wasent a welcoming crowd , it was a police of officer telling us we could not go any farther down the track . It hit me like a bullet through my heart and it felt like all I had gone through was for nothing ,but that mans words kept me going until the end of my days .

  12. petrinied4000

    Oh boy, another long day in the lumber mill. Sawing, chopping, lifting and scraping were not my favorite things to do, but I had to make a living somehow. When I finally came back into the dining room there were strange men that I had never seen before at each table. When I got back to my dorm one of the strange men were already there. He asked my friends and I a few questions but then he gave me a book and told me to read it. I started to open the book but I was so tired that I just slumped down on my bed and fell asleep. I saw him one more time the next day and the same thing happened. After that I never saw him again. A few months later another man came but he worked all day in the lumber mill with us. That night he tried to teach us to read and write. He stayed with us for many months and he continued to teach us every night. It was a slow process but for some reason, I learned. I think it was because we were all in the same boat. Now thanks to him, I can read and write. I also learned that if you can read there are no limits to what you can learn.

  13. Ginger

    When the sister changed my after school job from mending the boys socks to searching for lice in the other girls hair I was overjoyed. I despised mending socks and I would have had any other job happily but I got switched for doing a sloppy job (that I did so I could get a new chore). I could not contain my excitement so I ran outside and told Mr. Bernardo about my new job and he told me that every louse I counted he would give me a candy. Mr. Bernardo was the first nice person in residential school that I had met and he gave me incentive to do my work well and never lie about how many lice I found to get more candy. When I got to Mr. Bernardo everything I had done earlier that day flashed before my eyes – doing a bad job on the sock, being elated about my new job and doing a good job picking nits and lice. It would be lying if I said that this was not my first good experience at residential school.

  14. lightningboy123

    I was shocked that when Josette was talking about when the first nations wet their beds someone will check there bed sheets if they were wet their beds they soak the bed sheets and bring the first nations that wet the beds and make them hold the soaked bed sheets under there heads and walked to the end of the hallway. Josette was talking about her new job to Mr bernardo and he said that every lice she picked he would give her a piece of candy, she said that he was a very nice person she enjoyed picking lice from the first nations hair then mending their socks.


    when i was little,my sister had to go to residential school and sooner or later i would have to go,i was excited cause i would be able to do it with my sister.when i got there it turned out to be the complete opposite of what i thought.girls and boys were separated.they checked you for lice and if you had lice they cut your hair.i felt so bad for the girls who had lice and they had to get they’re hair chopped right off.i felt so bad just standing there watching them as they’re hair got chopped off and i could do nothing about it.the only good part of it was that you got your own bunk,at home my family only had one bed,all of my family members had to share it.but the bad part about having your own bunk there is that if you wet your bed then you would have to take that wet sheet and put it over your head and run down the hallway with it on your head.the first time that happened to me,i said to myself that i would never do it again in my fact i didn’t and even though i had a rough time dealing with sleeping in wet sheets it was worth it.time passed and i was suck in residential school,i was finally let free.when i was out i was completely different from who i was before.i forgot my Language,i forgot my culture,and i forgot me.

  16. Cheeseman ABC123

    When I was little, my sister had to be taken to go to residential school. A few years after my sister went, I too had to go. I was really excited to go because I was able to be there with my sister. When I got there, I was really surprised because girls and boys were separated. When I got inside the first thing they did was check you for any sign of lice. I felt really bad for the girls who had lice because they had to cut off they’re hair. I also felt really bad just standing there watching there hair get chopped right off , l was to afraid to do anything about it because I knew I would get strapped .the one part I liked about residential school was that I had my own bed, at home my family only had one bed so we all had to share it .There was one bad part about having your own bed it is that if I wet my bed I would have to take that wet sheet off my bed put it on over my head and walk down to the end of the hallway with everybody lined up on the side of the hallway after I walked down the hallway I said to my self that I would never do it again and I never did do it again so I would wake up early when everyone is asleep in there rock hard bed quickly make my bed and get dressed so no one would know that I wet my bed, the next few nights I had a rough time dealing with my wet sheets after nine years I was finely aloud out of residential school when I was home my mom didn’t know who I was because I looked completely different from who I started off as .I also forgot my whole language, I forget who I was and most of all I didn’t know who I was. only a few years ago I started to relearn my language.

  17. cool sketcher

    my moment is when those men in Regina were getting beat up bye the police: “I was in a huge crowd of men waiting to hear the results of the chat with the Prime Minister. then out of nowhere a huge group of police men came and started beating people up! I remember running away from the deranged police men and watching from behind a garbage can my friend getting hit in the head by a baton. then out of nowhere a police man hit me in the head too. I got knocked out and I don’t remember much after that”

  18. gigatool2_is_a_girl

    My moment is residential school, i would hate! having to sew up sock for the boys(why did they need sock?). i would like to meet a priest like father (priest) . i would like to have a job where you find fle in girl hair. Because if i do the hair job i would get candy from my good friend the priest. For me gigatool2_is_a_girl i would hate toing sew if i was in residential school. I would go up to the sister and say : Sister i can’t to this job sewing up sock for the boy, i wish that she would give me a new job (dear lord please give me a new good) And if the sister gave me a new job i would be so happy and say to my good friend the priest ”FATHER FATHER I GOT A NEW JOB!” The priest would say be good for your new job.

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