|Future Healing Lodge|
The future Healing Lodge will be a new building that will be built behind the Old Sun College leading from the Chapel. It will be built in the shape of a dome or the Sweat Lodge. The purpose would be:
The OLD SUN Healing Centre
The Healing Centre needs to be developed in a way that will address the horrific past of the boarding school era. We cannot just paint over the walls with new paint without addressing its past; nor can we seal up the dark coal room in the Boiler room just because it makes us feel uncomfortable.
In order for us as a people and individuals to move forward, the past needs to be addressed. That past, of multiple abuses that our family and relatives suffered continues to affect our people through depression, low self esteem, inability to express and feel love, vulnerability towards re-victimization, alcohol or drug abuse, suicide, poor parenting skills and low academic achievement to name a few. We need to address the abuse that was paired with education and separate the two issues. Unless we address the root of the dysfunction that plagues our people we will continue to battle with its fruits.
We need to acknowledge the abuse instead of trying to pretend it never happened or hope that it would go away. We need to allow people to mourn and claim those parts of them that were taken. Only then can we move forward and fulfill our full potential as a people.
The Healing Centre will have to address the brain washing and mind control that went on by the authorities in charge and the negative policies and procedures that were implemented at the boarding school; the witnessing and receiving of physical abuse, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, prostitution, and child pornography to name a few; also, the pain and rage of the residential school victims and their children.
No one has addressed the aftermath of the abuse that the children endured while in these institutions by creating a place for them to come and mourn. They suffered in silence. We cannot be silent any longer. They have to have a place where their voices need to be heard and to testify to the world of the inhuman treatment they received. Another way to teach others and visually show people the abuse is to have a similar project like the Clothes Line Project of Abuse Survivors in Utah. Instead of T-shirts, our survivor’s stories would be written on ribbons shirts & dresses or warrior shirts and simulated hides. No names would be on them, but the residential school survivor’s stories. These items would be hung up for display at the Healing Centre for a limited time throughout the year for others to view; thereby vicariously witnessing and acknowledging the survivor’s abuse.
In the fifty and sixty’s when the Siksika children were taken to the Old Sun Residential School they were assigned numbers, instead of being called by their names according to a former residential survivor. This was a form of depersonalization. When the residential schools first began the children’s names were changed from Siksika names to Caucasian names; such as, when Cecil Crowfoot first went to school they thought he said Cecil, when he said, “Siiso”, and they left his name. The other students asked him how come he got to keep his name and they had to change theirs. The restoration of Indian names needs to be a part of the Healing Centre.That residential school era is over; however, by bringing it to light we hope that it will never be repeated again and for that era to be used as an educational tool to create understanding about the obstacles these survivors were forced to face as children and how they have dealt with it as adults. Furthermore, we hope the treatment they received while in the boarding schools was not condoned by the world, since there was 130 Indian Residential Schools in Canada.
Click Here to view a PDF version of the floor plans