Wheatland Regional Library is honoured and excited to partner with Tony Stevenson to share his knowledge on the impact of residential schools on the lives of Indigenous children and families, and the legacy of these schools in Canada. Partnering with Tony on the launch of the Legacy of Residential Schools tour has been an important step for the organization and the region.
“We hope that our work with Tony will help more individuals and communities recognize the role they have on the path towards truth and reconciliation” says Kim Hebig, Director, Wheatland Regional Library.
Tony is an Anishinaabe First Nation from Treaty 4 land. He attended the Qu’Appelle Indian Residential School at Lebret, Saskatchewan from Grade 5 to 12. Tony worked extensively with former students of residential schools during the IAP compensation process and has worked tirelessly to educate communities on the history and truth of the residential school system in Canada. Tony’s professional and personal experiences have given him the ability to be an advocate for residential school survivors. His goal is to expand the Legacy of Residential Schools Tour from Saskatchewan to reach across the whole country.
“The common question now is, what can I do to help?” says Tony Stevenson. “I am honoured to have been chosen by many of my First Nations Elders and my extended Residential School Family to speak on their behalf. Many of them are no longer with us because they left way too early on their Journey to the Spirit World. Through no fault of their own, just being born a First Nation, was a tragedy in this time of the building of this country. The message they ask me to share is of their truth, and mine, of a painful past that we have to endure, every day. The priests, nuns, and administrators of these schools are no longer here but their footprint is. That intergenerational trauma is alive and well and is thriving in our own communities” explains Stevenson.
Wheatland Regional Library will be hosting a number of presentations as part of this tour in September, with more dates to follow in October. Individuals from all communities are invited to attend an event in their area. The public should be aware that Tony’s presentation includes a screening of the film We Were Children, which deals with mature subject matter and view discretion is advised. More information about the tour can be found on the Wheatland Regional Library website at www.wheatland.sk.ca
“With these presentations I hope to appeal to the genuine humanity of the hearts of the Canadians that want to learn and more importantly, understand, so that we can change the future by way of actions and not just words. I believe if you want to be called a Canadian, learning and owning the real history of the past is a mandatory requirement so it is never repeated!” adds Stevenson.
The Legacy of Residential School Tour September schedule is:
Tuesday, September 21 – Warman
7:00 PM – Legends Centre Theatre, 701 Centennial Blvd
Wednesday, September 22 – Outlook
7:00 PM – Outlook Library, 505 Franklin St S
Saturday, September 25 – Waldheim
7:00 PM – New Waldheim Community Centre, 4009 2nd Ave E
Monday, September 27 – Martensville
7:00 PM – North Ridge Community Centre, 901 3rd St N
Tuesday, September 28 – Kerrobert
7:00 PM – Kinsmen Hall, 433 Pacific Ave
Wednesday, September 29 – Kindersley
1:00 PM – United Church Hall, 502 Main Street
Thursday, September 30 – Biggar
7:00 PM – Biggar – Lionel A. Jones Library, 202 3rd Ave W
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