Elder Henry Ogemah, a former student at Pelican Falls Residential School in Sioux Lookout, Ont., cut the ribbon last fall opening a new high school on the site – a symbol of hope for native communities scarred by boarding school experiences.
Pelican Falls First Nations High School will enable its 200 students “to learn our history, to get our education and to have a successful future,” according to a speech by grade 12 student Leona Kakepetum, as reported by Wawatay News, a local newspaper.
Federal Minister of Indian Affairs Robert Nault, Anglican bishop Gordon Beardy , archbishop Tom Morgan and Grand Chief Stan Beardy attended the opening ceremony.
Native drummers performed and all attended a feast after the ceremony.
Archbishop Morgan represented the primate, Archbishop Michael Peers, and said he walked on the site of the old school while he was in the area. “I found myself profoundly moved,” he said in an interview.