Williams Lake Indian Band elder Mary Thomas shares her residential school survivor story during a School District 27 Orange Shirt Day celebration in Williams Lake’s Boitanio Park Friday. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Williams Lake Indian Band elder Mary Thomas shares her residential school survivor story during a School District 27 Orange Shirt Day celebration in Williams Lake’s Boitanio Park Friday. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

B.C. Grade 8 student pens letter to premier on residential schools

Terrace teen writes current school curriculum underplays past violations of basic human rights

Dear Editor,

Open letter to Premier John Horgan and Minister of Education Rob Fleming:

My name is Ethan Campbell, I am a fourteen-year-old eighth grade student from Terrace in northern British Columbia. Today was a day of realization for me. Today was the day I realized how morally confused this country really is. We fight for peace and the future but we choose to ignore the past.

Today I watched the film Indian Horse. I personally believe that it shines a new light onto the extent of what we did to Indigenous people in residential schools. It is absolutely disgraceful that we do not properly educate our youth about the gross misdoings of our past.

The story follows the story of a man named Saul Indian Horse and what he went through in these “schools”. Nothing we can do will change the past. We can never take back what we did no matter how much we wish we could. I feel as though it should be mandatory that every student in Canada view the film in class and discus the topic.

The information we are given in the school curriculum, as it stands, is not enough if we want the people of our future to be aware of basic human rights and to know how to treat one and other as equals. We need this to happen in order to be a stronger province and country. We can’t ignore it any longer. Let’s start a conversation.

I have given a copy of this letter to my principal in hopes that we can have a school wide screening of the film. I have also given a copy to my local newspaper.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Ethan Campbell

Skeena Middle School

Terrace, B.C.

filmIndian HorseMinister of Education Rob Flemingphillip barronPremier John Horganresidential schoolsskeena middle schoolterrace standard

Just Posted

The North Island College campus in Port Alberni is located on Roger Street. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
North Island College to offer digital and in-person classes this fall

In-person classes will be able to resume in September

B.C. Centre for Disease Control data showing new cases by local health area for the week of May 2-8. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island COVID-19 local case counts the lowest they’ve been all year

On some areas of Island, more than 60 per cent of adults have received a vaccine dose

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Island’s daily COVID-19 case count drops below 10 for just the second time in 2021

Province reports 8 new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island Wednesday

Ancient Forest Alliance campaigner Andrea Inness walks beside an enormous western red cedar stump in a BCTS-issued cutblock in the Nahmint Valley. (PHOTO COURTESY TJ WATT)
B.C. forestry watchdog finds lack of compliance in Nahmint logging

Forest Practices Board says old growth and biodiversity near Port Alberni are at risk

Port Alberni Fire Dept. deputy chief Wes Patterson, right, and another firefighter monitor the front of a garage at Second Avenue and Argyle Street that burned on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Fire starts in empty garage on Argyle Street in Port Alberni

Garage was attached to empty multi-storey commercial building

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

RCMP outside the Nanaimo Ice Centre investigating a report of a suspicious person. The incident resulted in hold-and-secures at two nearby schools, but those emergency procedures have now been lifted. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Man walking around Nanaimo marsh with airsoft rifle concerning to police and nearby schools

Two schools went into hold-and-secure procedures Thursday, May 13

Canada’s demo Hornet soars over the Strait of Georgia near Comox. The F-18 demo team is returning to the Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Sgt. Robert Bottrill/DND
F-18 flight demo team returning to Vancouver Island for spring training

The team will be in the Comox Valley area from May 16 to 24

Saanich police and a coroner investigated a fatal crash in the 5200-block of West Saanich Road on Feb. 4, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Police determine speed, impairment not factors in fatal Greater Victoria crash

Driver who died veered across centre line into oncoming traffic for unknown reason, police say

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read