By Cecile Fausak
The Remembering the Children Society extends this invitation to the unveiling of a stone memorial acknowledging the previously unmarked graves of four Aboriginal students who died at the Red Deer Industrial School, operating from 1893-1919 under Methodist Church (now The United Church of Canada) and federal government auspices. Feel free to attend any or all of the parts of this event. You are encouraged to wear orange to add your voice to the message “Every Child Matters” to honour Orange Shirt Day which is September 30. Please join us in remembering these and all children who attended residential schools in Canada as we continue the work of truth and reconciliation.
During the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918, the staff and students of the Red Deer Industrial School were so sick that the city undertaker needed to be called to attend to the burial of four children in the Red Deer City Cemetery rather than the residential school cemetery. The Red Deer Industrial School had one of the highest mortality rates of any school in Canada. The names of the children buried at the Red Deer Cemetery are: David Lightning, Georgina House, Sarah Soosay, and Jane Baptiste. They are believed to be from Samson Cree Nation and perhaps from Paul Nation. Family members of only one of the children have been found – that of David Lightning – and his nephew, Richard Lightning, is the current President of the Society.
Thursday, September 28, 2017
9 am Pipe Ceremony at the graves in Red Deer City
Cemetery (3830 – 55 Street)
Please note that everyone will be seated on the ground for about a
half hour. If you wish to bring a blanket to sit on, please do so.
Women are asked to wear a long skirt.
10 am Program of Remembrance at Roland Michener Recreation Centre Gym
(off 51a Street between 40 and 38a Ave)
There is good parking to the east of the Centre, and it is an 8-
minute walk straight north to the graves.
11 am Walk led by Big Voice Drummers, from the
Michener Centre to the Graves for Unveiling of the
Monument, and Return Walk
11:45 Lunch catered by Hunting Hills High School
Rev. Cecile Fausak,
Secretary, Remembering the Children Society
780-675-7753, View Email, Athabasca, AB – Treaty 6 territory
Mr. Richard Lightning, President, Remembering the Children Society,
The Remembering the Children Society was founded in 2011 to preserve the cemetery of the Red Deer Industrial School and has since grown into a provincial organization offering support in the preservation of cemeteries of other Indian residential schools in Alberta.