What is the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association?
The Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association is a non-political group composed of Shingwauk survivors that was created in 1981 to support survivors in their healing and reconciliation.
How long has the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association been around?
The Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association have been working actively for over four decades to ensure that the truths related to the Shingwauk Indian Residential School are told. Through their work, 109 people in the graveyard site have been identified, including 72 who were students of Shingwauk.
What is the Reclaiming Shingwauk Hall exhibit?
The Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association, Residential School Survivors, and local First Nation communities collaborated to create Reclaiming Shingwauk Hall – which is the first major, permanent Residential School Survivor driven exhibition in a former Residential School building. The space presents over 110 years of history of the Shingwauk Indian Industrial Residential School within the larger context of colonialism, truth telling, and reconciliation in Canada.
Is the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association working with Algoma University on this search?
Yes, we are working together. Our relationship between Algoma and the CSAA is very strong.
When will the site search commence?
The site search will begin at the end of September and will start with the 34-acre Algoma-owned portion of the 100-acre site.
What is the goal of the site search?
The goal of the site search is to determine if there are any unmarked graves anywhere on the site.
Does the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association have the supports it needs to conduct this site search?
We feel that we have the right partners and supports in place to conduct this work in a good way, and are thrilled that Jay Jones – the recommended coordinator by our elders – was willing to take a lead role in the search process.
When will the site search begin?
Our goal is to initiate the search this Fall and that the work would continue for at least 18 months.
What will happen if there is a discovery on the site?
We are working with our partners on developing a respectful protocol should there be any discoveries on the site.
How will the site be searched?
Ground penetrating radar technology – as was used at other sites across the country – will be used to perform the search. It may be supplemented with other technologies should the needs require it.
We understand that there have been incidents where buildings and structures dating back to the time when it was a residential school have been vandalized. What advice would you give those who are feeling understandably emotional about the school, and its history?
Despite the emotional and triggering nature of this search, and what happened at Shingwauk, we request that the site not be vandalized, to preserve the history and truths of what happened at the School.
Will you be providing updates as to the progress of the site search?
We will be providing updates to our communities and partners on a regular basis.
What is the best way to keep abreast of the work?
The best place to follow the updates of the search is on the CSAA website (www.childrenofshingwauk.ca).