Survivor stories

Survivors of Indian Residential Schools tell their stories.

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun
Level 2

Alvin Dixon

Alvin Dixon is a survivor of residential schools. Photo: Jason Payne, Vancouver Sun

Alvin Dixon is a survivor of residential schools.
Photo: Jason Payne, Vancouver Sun

Alvin Dixon was 10 years old. He was taken from his home in Bella Bella. After that, he lived at a residential school for 8 years.

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He was punished for speaking his native language.

“A supervisor heard me, took me to the playroom in the basement, leaned me over the bench and walloped me over and over with the strap.”

Alvin is now 76 years old. He says the school was like a jail.

Chief Dr. Robert Joseph

Chief Robert Joseph and his daughter Karen  display tiles painted by schoolchildren.  Photo: Steve Bosch, Vancouver Sun

Chief Robert Joseph and his daughter Karen
display tiles painted by schoolchildren.
Photo: Steve Bosch, Vancouver Sun

Chief Robert Joseph and his daughter Karen display tiles painted by schoolchildren.

Chief Joseph had bad times at residential school. He was angry and broken. Now he has changed. He is an open and loving father and grandfather.

Chief Joseph dreamed about a walk. He wanted thousands of people to walk together. His dream came true in September. Seventy thousand people walked together. They walked through Vancouver to honour First Nations people.

The Truth and Reconciliation walk through Vancouver.  Photo: Ward Perrin, Vancouver Sun

The Truth and Reconciliation walk through Vancouver.
Photo: Ward Perrin, Vancouver Sun

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