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November 3, 2021 125 min

Canada’s Indian residential school system opened in the 1800s but the legacy of those schools is evident even today showing up in high poverty rates, over-representation of Indigenous children in foster care, a disproportionate number of Indigenous people in the prison system and hundreds of missing and murdered Indigenous women. And echoing what the community has been saying for a long time, since May of this year, more than 1,300 suspected graves have been found at or near former residential school grounds. In this episode, we speak with two residential school survivors, former First Nations chief Edmund Metatawabin from Fort Albany and Roberta Hill of the Six Nations of the Grand River, who give us first-hand accounts of the abuse and trauma they endured when they attended these residential schools. The episode also features children and grand-children of residential school survivors, Janet Head from Opaskwayak Cree Nation and author David Robertson, who share the lasting impacts these schools have had on their lives and community. Cree family physician, Dr. James Makokis, also gives us an understanding of what intergenerational trauma looks like from a professional lens and leaves us with resources on how intergenerational healing can take place.


Here are the various conversations:


@5:38 – Edmund Metatawabin


@41:39 – Roberta Hill


@56:29 – Janet Head


1:13:53 – David Robertson


1:32:04 – Dr. James Makokis


This episode contains discussion on mental health issues. Listener discretion is advised. If you or someone you know is in crisis please go to your local hospital or call 911 immediately. For information about services in your area, please visit To reach the Canada Suicide Prevention Service, call 1.833.456.4566 or 1.866.APPELLE in Québec (1.866.277.3553).


Other Resources:

Bell Let's Talk

Mohawk Institute

David Robertson

Indian Residential School Survivors Society  

Mark as Played

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