CW: This event will discuss trauma experienced by Indigenous survivors of the residential school system. If you need support please call the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS) hotline at 1-800-721-0066. If you are able, please also consider making a donation using the link below.
The Residential School Legacy—And What Comes Next
For much of the 20th century in Canada, it was mandatory for all Indigenous children to be taken from their families and sent to institutions designed to assimilate them into white, Christian, Canadian society. Abhorrent abuse was widespread and systemic. Two Indigenous elders who have survived the Residential School System share their stories, and discuss what we can do—now—to support those still facing the after-effects of this shameful history, and confront the ongoing, systemic racism towards Indigenous people still occurring today. Only by listening and understanding can we begin to move forward into action. There will be a live Q&A with the panelists.
Sellars has long been an activist and spoken out on racism and residential schools and on the environmental and social threats of mineral resources exploitation. Sellars is the author of They Called Me Number One, a memoir of her childhood experience in the Indian residential school system and its effects on three generations of women in her family, published in 2013 by Talonbooks. The book won the 2014 George Ryga Award for Social Awareness, was shortlisted for the 2014 Hubert Evans Non-Fiction, and was a finalist for the 2014 Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature. Her book, Price Paid: The Fight for First Nations Survival, published in 2016 by Talonbooks, looks at the history of Indigenous rights in Canada from an Indigenous perspective (see the interview in Prism International ). She was named the 2016-17 Distinguished Alumni by the University of Victoria.
Went to Edmonton Residential, St. Albert, 1951-1960 Graduated Jasper Place Composite High School. Spent 20 years commercial fishing, Chief Councillor for Kispiox village for eight years in the eighties and nineties, band councillor for ten years, three summer symesters UBC for capital design and development for Kispiox Village, Gitanmaax Village, Birch Grove and Cowichan Village. Included lot development, road designs, water and sewer, and residential lot developments. Worked for Gitxsan Government Commission for 20 years, Executive Director initially for eight Gitxsan and Wet’sew’ten Villages, Gitanyow, Gitwangak, Gitsequekly, Hagwiget, Gitanmaax, Glen Vowell and Kispiox.
Local politics all my life. Retired, March 31, 2003