Assessment, A students letter

Dear Joseph Naytowhow,

My grade 7 class has been discussing the cruel and horrific events that happened during the Residential School era. We have just recently watched your video about the Witness Blanket and Mr.Gerrand told us about some of your experiences from Residential School. It is very sad and disappointing to hear about all the cruel and awful things you endured like: changing your name, being taken away from your family and not having the choice of going to these terrible schools.

I know you had a year or more away from your family. It would really be a terrible year without seeing the people you love and care about. If I had to spend a year without my family and the people I love and care about, I would feel very sad and lonely. knowing you had to go through that pain makes me feel so upset. I am very angry and disappointed in our Government.

I can not believe you were not allowed to keep your traditional name. It is very unfortunate that your identity was referred to by a number. Your name is what identifies you and to have that taken away would really suck. If I lost my name I would not feel unique. If I was only a number, it would make me feel like everyone else. I can not imagine being forced to go to these horrible schools. It is so cruel and hurtful to think about. We are human and we should have the right to make our own decisions and pick our schools tot go to. If I did not have a choice I would be angry being taken away from my family and loved ones, only to be sent off to a school to lose my culture, my name and my hair. It would be like was no longer me.

I hope that my letter to you has helped you understand how sorry I feel for what happened to you. It is difficult to say empathetic because I have not been through that kind of pain and trouble that you have. I sincerely would like to apologize for our Government and all the horrific things they did. If we could go back to the day you were taken away I would want to stop that awful day from happening.