May 31, 2022

Episode 4: Not a Place to Be (S2 Surviving St. Michael's)

by Stolen

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After operating as a residential school for more than 100 years, St. Michael’s burned to the ground in 2001. Dozens of survivors, including Howard, went to the school grounds to watch the building burn. What really happened inside those walls? The students of St. Michael’s share their stories.

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Connie Walker: Before we begin, we want to let you know that this episode contains multiple descriptions of violence and sexual abuse against children. If you're a survivor or intergenerational survivor of residential schools, this may be especially difficult to hear. Please take care while listening.

Connie: Previously on Stolen: Surviving St. Michael's.

Margaret Gamble: He went to a foreign country.

Connie: Oh.

Margaret Gamble: To go serve. I don't—I'm not even sure which country he went to, but they forced him back.

Connie: Like the guys in the penitentiary, I said to them, "Oh, my God. Maybe I should be in here also, but I never got caught." Oh, my God!

Eugene Arcand: I don't get into it, you know, with those because I know lots. They know lots, right? But it's our space. That same person who helped me, encouraged me to regain my language. I Told him, "I'm gonna start working with residential school survivors." And he said, "Good." He said, [speaking Cree]. He said, "Don't play with this." He said to me, "There are still people walking around out there not being able to go home. Just be careful with it. Be careful with it. Don't play with it."

Connie: St. Michael's Indian Residential School loomed over Duck Lake for more than a hundred years until April 28, 2001, when it burned to the ground.

Connie: My cousin Crystal posted a photo from that night. In it, St. Michael's is being consumed by fire. An enormous plume of black smoke is rising from the inferno against a deep blue sky. It's a striking image. Beneath her photo, there were dozens of comments from people who remember that night. Someone said they sat there watching it burn until the sun came up. Someone else, they were at a round dance on a nearby reserve. They wrote that when the MC announced the school was burning everyone in the hall went quiet. Then one person started clapping. And then everyone was clapping and cheering, and some even cried.

Connie: My brother Milo said that our dad piled him and our brother Raymond into his truck. My brothers didn't know where they were going or why until they arrived in Duck Lake and saw the building on fire. Milo said our dad stood there silently and just watched it burn. After the last ember went out, rumors flew about how the fire started. It's still a mystery.

Connie: I went to the spot where St. Michael's used to stand. Now there's just an empty, grassy patch of land, except for a small row of little shoes where the front steps used to be—a makeshift memorial for the children who died there.

Connie: But even those who made it home had their childhoods stolen by that place. As their children, we've felt the impacts of that trauma. But do we really know what they survived? Eugene Arcand says we should let survivors speak for themselves, that this is their story. They should be the ones to tell it. So you're going to hear the voices of survivors from St. Michael's reconstructing what life was like at the school through their memories, to show us the truth of what really happened inside those walls.

Connie: As part of our investigation, my colleagues Betty Ann Adam, Chantelle Bellrichard and I talked to 28 survivors. Many of them have never spoken publicly about this before. They attended the school around the same time as my dad, during the years it was run by the Oblate priests. They were children then. They are elders now. This is the time to hear their stories.

Connie: I'm Connie Walker. From Gimlet Media and Spotify, this is Stolen: Surviving St. Michael's.

Connie: Do you remember your life before residential school? Like, what was it like for you at home?

A.J. Felix: I remember a very happy life.

Frank Badger: I remember living with my mum and my Mosôm and Kokum. Never ever did they lay a hand on me. I used to sleep with my Kokum.

Cookie Esperance: Our Mosôm had to get up early in the morning, and he'd make fire. And me and my sister we would go running to our Kokum just like she was just a heater, eh? She was so nice and warm. We'd go snuggle on either side of her while our Mosôm went out.

Gerry Bell: I was so used to getting up in the morning, running outside, playing with my dog, going down to watch the boats go off in the lake, going to visit my grandparents. And all of that was taken away.

Connie: Do you remember your first memory of St Michael's? Like, do you remember what you felt like when you first went there?

A.J. Felix: Well, yeah. They picked us up here in a truck in Sturgeon Lake. It was kind of a cattle truck. And they loaded us up. My mom was crying. My dad was turning away, didn't want to look at us being herded in. There was an RCMP officer, a priest and the Indian agent, and they told my parents that they have to go to a Catholic school in St. Michael's. And if you don't send them to school, you will end up in jail. That's what they told our parents. And the priest says, "We will look after your children. We will love your children. I will be the father to your children. And we have nuns and sisters in school over there.They will be the mothers of your children."

Connie: How old were you when you went there?

A.J. Felix: I must have been six or seven.

Peter Gardippi: I was only five years old.

Uncle George: I was six when I started in residence.

Myrtle Seesequasis: I went to the residence when I was seven.

Frank Badger: That first day I stepped into that residential school my childhood was gone.

Connie: Did you understand any English when you arrived?

Myrtle Seesequasis: Nothing at all, Connie. Nothing! And then we were not allowed to speak Cree. We got in trouble if we were speaking Cree. That's when you got a whack, when they caught you speaking Cree with somebody. They just didn't understand that we couldn't.

Uncle George: I fricking didn't understand a Goddamn word of English when I walked into that—into that place.

Myrtle Seesequasis: My parents brought me there, and when I seen the priests and the nuns, I was just scared. And then my mom leaving me, I just cried. I just bawled.

Winston Walkingbear: And then that priest greeted me in these long black robes with a white collar and told me, "Your name is not Winston anymore. It is 1015. That's how you're gonna be called here," he said, eh?

Cookie Esperance: We had numbers. We were known by our numbers. We were not known by our names. My number was 644. There was 10 girls that I remember their numbers.

Connie: Really?

Cookie Esperance: As if it was yesterday.

Joanne Loroff: I still remember my number was 869. My clothes were all marked 869.

Carmen Tootoosis: So from there we were hauled into the building, and all of us were stripped, stripped of our clothes. I was never naked like that before.

Grace Lafond: They scrubbed you 'til it burned your skin. I hated it. I cried.

A.J. Felix: They put lye on our heads to kill the lice.

MaryAnn Napope: Maybe they thought you had lice. Maybe you didn't, maybe you did, but they still put this powder on. I remember it used to get in my eyes and used to burn my eyes.

A.J. Felix: There was a sister, Joseph Anthony, and she would say "Mon dieu le chien sauvage." You savage dog.

Connie: Le chien sauvage?

A.J. Felix: Le chien sauvage.

MaryAnn Napope: We had to throw away our own identity. They made us ashamed of who we were, who we are.

Connie: Did you have to cut your hair when you went there, or did you ...?

Margaret Gamble: Yeah. My mum had fixed my hair. They were long braids. Then when we went to St. Michael's, they just took our braids and chopped them off. Yeah, that was sad.

MaryAnn Napope: They would cut them all straight, and it really traumatized me. I remember running into my sister, older sister Darlene in the stairways, eh? And I just literally cried on her shoulders, and I was, like, pretty well, like, going, [sobbing] you know, like, that's how deep my cry was.

Myrtle Seesequasis: Us girls, our dorms are on this side. The boys are on this side. And the girls, they only can go on this side to play. Same with the boys.

Antoine Sand: We weren't even allowed to speak to our sisters, eh? Like, I had an older sister and I had a younger sister that were going to school at that time, and the only time that I would see them is at mealtime, and that was from a distance.

Doreen Mike: I remember being very lonesome. Even if you saw your brother across the yard on their side and you'd wave or something, we would get in trouble.

Linda Badger: Frank would see me and I'd be just crying and screaming his name and trying to go to him. Yeah, they wouldn't let me.

Cookie Esperance: I got left over there all by myself, and I sleep in a bed all by myself. And I'm not used to it. I'm just so lonesome. I'm crying. I couldn't help it. I was crying. I remember I was crying. And I could see the nun—she must have heard. All of a sudden she came out, and then she went walking around the dorm, trying to find where this crying was coming from and here she found me. Coming from a loving, caring home back home, all I wanted was some consolation, some comfort. I just wanted to be comforted. That's all I wanted. Instead, she's slapping me and telling me to be quiet. And I cry every time I think about that.

Gerry Bell: I remember the first morning I woke up there. I got up and I ran outside and I went down these stairs and trying to get outside and calling for my dog. And there's people chasing me and, you know, and then that kind hit me that you can't do that anymore. My freedom's gone, eh? I'm stuck here.

Peter Gardippi: I always remember my first day of class at the school, where the nun beat me up in front of the classroom because I didn't know what she was talking about.

Frank Badger: They scared you into learning, and you couldn't learn to like that because you're always scared. That's why you never put up your hand because, you know, "Hey, maybe I'm wrong."

Ivie Cameron: They made us pray so dang much at residential school. We'd all kneel down by our beds and say a morning prayer. Go to church before school. And we'd pray. We'd get to school, we'd have to say a prayer again.

Harris Cameron: Pray again after dinner. [laughs]

Carol Cameron: Pray some more.

Myrtle Seesequasis: Everything is a sin. You had to be holy holy.

Carmen Tootoosis: First time I went to church, I seen the cross and I just flipped. I thought—to me, there was a man hanging on a wood, you know? He's bleeding! You know, that's what I saw, and it was dark in there. And this nun had me by the hand, and she literally had to drag me in there because I just would not go in there. It was just horrifying.

Connie: And did you have to do chores and stuff?

Margaret Gamble: Yeah. There was no janitors, so we did all the cleaning.

Harris Cameron: All the work was done by the students, especially the ones that were in penance.

Connie: What's penance?

Harris Cameron: You've gotten in trouble somehow. It happened to me a lot. [laughs]

Connie: What about my dad?

Harris Cameron: Oh, yeah. He was—he was only—I told you we called him Tikenê, eh?

Peter Gardippi: Tikenê in Cree is "The crazy one." [laughs] Yeah, he was always getting in mischief.

Uncle George: We used to work in the fields, like the garden.

Bill Cameron: I don't know what the hell they did with all the produce. They didn't use it at school.

Vincent Daniels: The first year I went when I was—in 1960, I was hungry all the time. That's one of the things I remember: the constant hunger.

Antoine Sand: Pretty soon, the supervisors would feed us apples and oranges. And they were thrown at us, lined up there. They'd chuck them, eh? Some of the smaller boys, they couldn't catch the fruit that are flying in the air and would crawl around and pick up what was on the floor, eh? I know I was one of those. And then we'd have some porridge.

Myrtle Seesequasis: A lot of times, kids would find little bugs in there.

Bill Cameron: Little worms would float to the top.

Connie: Oh, my God!

Bill Cameron: And you'd have to scrape them off.

Cookie Esperance: Those nuns didn't know how to cook. Oh, yuck! To this day, I don't eat fish. I don't eat fish. I don't eat fish.

Lorraine Cameron: They used to come by with those trays of nice food to the priests and the nuns.

Connie: And you would see what they were eating, and it was different from what you guys were eating?

Bill Cameron: Oh, yeah. Yeah. They'd have pork chops and they have steak and roast beef.

Carmen Tootoosis: With silver and these really expensive dishes, you know? And roasts, you know? And you could smell this stuff, you know? And they just lived like gods there.

Cookie Esperance: Their table was just overflowing with all the food we never had.

Antoine Sand: I had an older brother. His name was Kelvin. He used to go downstairs at night, like late at night, 12, one o'clock. He'd go down and he'd steal stuff from the—from the pantry, stuff that was left over from the meals. And then they'd bring—he'd come and wake me up and bring me some food, eh? Used to eat some good food then. [laughs] That was about the only time.

Corinne Cox: We weren't even allowed to even go home on holidays at times because they used to say that our parents didn't want us and that, so we had to stay at the residence and that. So, like, they told us a bunch of lies and that, eh?

Connie: Who told you that? The nuns or the priests?

Corinne Cox: The nuns and the priests. Yeah. Yeah.

Frank Badger: When my Mosôm died, I was playing marbles on the floor, and the supervisor come and told me. He was an old guy, too. He says, "Frank." He said, "Your Mosôm just passed away." And then he walks away, like telling me, "Hey, it's gonna rain outside, I think. Hey, Frank?" No, he was saying, "Hey, Frank. Your Mosôm died last—you know, he's gone." Of course I started crying because he was one of my main caregivers, him and my Kokum really raised me good. So—and then I started to go to bed. I was still crying, thinking of my Mosôm, and I'd start crying again.

Frank Badger: And I would say probably two, three o'clock in the morning, this nun came out of her room and come straight toward my bed. I thought, you know, maybe she was gonna console me because she knew my Mosôm died. So I kind of sat up on my bed and she come there, then she just followed up and slapped me across the face. She said, "Shut up, Frank. All this crying is not gonna bring your grandfather back." I quit crying after that.

Peter Gardippi: It was quite a sickening place to be. And the only way that I survived was through playing a lot of sports, lots of hockey, lots of soccer.

Connie: How important was sports?

Uncle George: Without sports, I think a lot of people wouldn't have survived, really.

Gerry Bell: Me and your dad were friends. We played hockey, we played ball and marbles. We got together and we'd challenge other boys, and whoever was shooting the best marbles during the day would take home all the marbles. We were marble champions.

Peter Gardippi: I always remember this one hockey game we were in. One of the guys fought me from the other team, and the guy was getting really the best of me. And Howard stepped in, so he got kicked out of the game. And he came up to me after and he says, "Holy hell." He says, "You got to get some muscles on you because the guy who was throwing you all around—and I got kicked out." [laughs] Yeah. Yeah. So things like that. Howard was a pretty awesome, awesome guy.

Antoine Sand: I remember this one friend I had, we used to play together. We were together all the time. He was my best friend, eh? And what they did was they used to have a boxing ring. They'd make you fight your own friends. And then we had to fight. They'd put us in that ring there, and we'd fight right 'til—'til one of us cried. Until one of us cried.

Vincent Daniels: George? That was my buddy in school. We were the youngest that year, and he was my little buddy there. I used to fight with him, and I hated that so much. I remember fighting with him twice. I just can't get over that.

Margaret Gamble: There was a little girl that—her name was Lucy. We used to help her along. She had a hard time climbing the stairs. We knew she was sickly. And then we all went to bed that one night. She was gone, and nobody said anything. They didn't explain what happened to her. We never saw her again. I always remember her. She was a bit crippled, you know, that basically, but she had a good mind.

Connie: What do you think happened to her?

Margaret Gamble: She probably died.

Antoine Sand: In the springtime, I—you know, it's melting and it's wet all over. There was puddles and everything. And as soon as we'd have our—like, when we'd go in and our clothes were wet, we were hit.

Winston Walkingbear: What they used to do is when it was raining, they sent us outside. These older boys would surround us, the younger ones and huddle us just like penguins. Yeah, there would be three or four circles like that. And then we were brought in, and if we were wet, soaking wet, we all got strapped. All lined up. You can see them way on the far end, the senior boys, the medium boys, right down to when I was a little junior boy, all getting strapped, all the ways they're waiting for your turn, eh? [laughs]

Doreen Mike: I remember this one time we were all coming in from outside, and this one girl came from behind me and she was trying to hit me. I don't know what that was all about. Then this nun, she had a bunch of—a handful of keys, and she just hit that girl on the back of the head, and her key—keychain broke and her keys all fell to the floor.

Betty Ann Adam: It sounds like if you got hit with keys, it could have drawn blood.

Antoine Sand: Well, definitely there was times that there would be because you didn't have no hair to cover you—I meant to protect you. Sister Joseph Anthony, she used us with a—she hit us with keys, a roll of keys she'd have. And she'd hit us with that. I remember her. Sister Joseph Anthony. Yeah, I still hate her. [laughs]

Ivie Cameron: I know deceased Uncle Ivan, he was always, always the one that would get whatever punishment.

Harris Cameron: He got strapped just about every day. Those army belts, they're I don't know, maybe two and a half, three inches wide.

Grace Lafond: There was a little girl. I remember her getting so many beatings because she wouldn't quit talking Denae.

Connie: Oh.

Grace Lafond: She'd get beat so bad that sometimes she'd be knocked out on the floor.

Orlen Burns: If you got into really big trouble, they usually took you to the preacher's office.

Betty Ann: Do you remember the name of the priest?

Orlen Burns: Father Duhaime I think his name was. Older man. Bald head, white hair. This one time we got marched up to his office. And there's big boys, senior boys were in there, too. We all had to pull our shorts and pants down, get on our hands and knees. And he'd two-hand us right on butt—bare skin. He didn't show any emotion before hitting us. He didn't seem disappointed. He had to do it.

Betty Ann Adams: And how old do you think you would have been at that point?

Orlen Burns: Five. Six, maybe.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Dennis Saddleman: I hate you residential school. I hate you. You're a monster, a huge hungry monster built with steel bones, built with cement flesh. You're a monster built to devour innocent native children. You're a cold-hearted monster, cold as the cement floors. You have no love, no gentle atmosphere, your ugly face grooved with red bricks, your monster eyes glare from grimy windows. Monster eyes, so evil. Monster eyes watching terrified children cower with shame. I hate you, residential school. I hate you.]

Frank Badger: Sometimes when I could, three o'clock in the morning, two o'clock—between two and three o'clock, I'd go and sit on the window sill. We were fourth floor, eh? I'd go and sit on the window sill. There used to be a train, about four or five cars. A little passenger train. I could hear the horn. I'd go and sit up on there and I'd watch it, and I'd see the lights on it. And I had no clue, no idea where it was going, but oh, I used to wish I was on that train. Going where? I don't care. I just wished I was on that train. Times like that was really lonely.

Grace Lafond: Father Duhaime, how I remember him is there was a group of girls, and my sister Donna was one of them. There was about four of them that took off on bikes and they ran away supposedly. And him taking their pants down, and beating them bare butt with a harness strap.

Connie: Oh, my God.

Grace Lafond: And because I was the younger sister, it was like you got to sit here and watch this. And they were hit so hard. Oh, my goodness. I can remember the screams.

Antoine Sand: We used to call this guy Monkey, eh? And he was forever running away. Every chance he had. And they'd catch him, they'd bring him back. We'd all sit in the playroom there, and they were taking turns strapping him, eh? And those priests used to take turns. Like, they were trying to make him cry, trying to set an example, eh? And every time they'd strap him, this monkey, he'd look at us and he'd smile. Four, maybe five priests would take turns strapping that guy. They could never make him cry.

Winston Walkingbear: I remember I was about nine years old. I caught wind my older brother was hatching an escape plan to run, run, run all the ways back to Poundmaker. And I told my older brother who was 10 and I said, "Hey, is Stan really gonna run away?" He said, Yeah. We're packing lunch. I'm going with them." "Well, what about me?" I said. "You guys are not leaving me," I said. And he said, "Okay, you're coming. Okay." It was just about wintertime because there was patches of snow. And we took off from Duck Lake along the railway track. I remember walking that distance in the cold, making little fires there. Making little fires when we were walking in the bushline. Bush to bush, heading to the river. And we must've walked a boat 20, 25 miles before we got caught. And then we were severely punished, whipped, not fed.

Gerry Bell: Every once in a while, I get those memories of that beating, eh? And it does come back every now and then to haunt me because, you know, sometimes I wish I could—could have been like your dad and just get a hold of one of them and beat the crap right out to them too, eh?

Antoine Sand: But Father Gauthier, I remember him also. He took part in some of the punishments that we used to get. Even now as we're talking I've got a lump in my throat.

Betty Ann: Oh, are you okay?

Antoine Sand: Yup. Yup.

Frank Badger: You know, those nuns and those priests, they called us savages. I think there's something wrong with this picture. Who were the savages here? We were the ones that were abused. We were the ones that were hit, sexually abused, emotionally hurt, you know? And yet they had the nerve to call us heathens, pagans and savages, you know?

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Dennis Saddleman: I hate you, residential school. I hate you. You're a slimy monster, oozing in the shadows of my past. Go away. Leave me alone. You're following me, following me wherever I go. You're in my dreams, in my memories. Go away monster, go away. I hate you following me. I hate you, residential school. I hate you.]

Peter Gardippi: There's all kinds of abuse was in that—in that school. Abuse by the priests, the nuns abusing the boys, you know? Older boys taking advantage of younger boys, you know? Like, it was just not—not a—not a place to be.

Grace Lafond: When I used to talk about it, sometimes my mind would be—I'd be sitting outside of myself, watching myself.

Connie: Hmm.

Grace Lafond: And I think I did that a lot when I was at St. Michael's. I would sit outside myself and watch them do what they did to me.

Myrtle Seesequasis: The girls would come and get me. "Father wants you." And I remember him—the nun telling me that father wants to see you upstairs to practice your speech. But I remember him pulling me close to him in his office.

Antoine Sand: Yeah, one priest would sleep in our dorm, and he used to be right in the center of where we slept, eh? There would be a priest in there. At different times, he'd come and call students and he'd come and he'd lead them into that room, eh? And that's where the sexual abuse would take place.

Betty Ann: Was that at night?

Antoine Sand: At night, yeah. And we knew it was happening because you'd hear that little kid yelling in there. And we'd ask what had happened and they told us. He shared it. It was common knowledge.

Betty Ann: Was there anybody you could tell?

Antoine Sand: There was nobody that you could tell. You could maybe tell your parents when you got home, when you got back on the summer holidays. But, you know, they'd laugh it off. "Ah, nothing like that happens. Those are priests. Those are nuns. Workers of God, for heaven's sakes, eh?" [laughs] If those workers of God, you know, I hate to see what the devil would do. [laughs]

Eric Bell: Who would you go to? If you went to one of the other priests, they wouldn't be believed at all.

Frank Badger: Like I tell people, the only time you heard "love" in a residential school was when priest's trying to hit on you. And I remember that time. This wasn't a priest. He was a brother going into the priesthood. He come there. "Frank, Frank." I said "What?" "Come. Come with me." "What the hell?" So I got up, and here there was an opening, and this was a stair railing, and the railing, this is where you would go downstairs. So that's where he took me.

Frank Badger: Well, I had long Johns that time, and I kinda tried to pull away and said, "Hey, what are you doing?" He said, "Relax, relax." And he hung onto me. He said "I love you." But what saved me, downstairs we heard night watchman coming up. I could hear his keys jingling and that. And he squeezed me and he said "Go back to bed. Don't you tell anybody this. They won't believe you anyway."

Vincent Daniels: They used to make us go to bed really early in the evening when the sun was going down. I told her the things I always remember is the sun was just going down. And after that, I hated those times. Sundowns? When the sun was going down? Sunsets. One of those things I don't really—to this day I always remember that. When the sun's going down, that's all I can remember.

Connie: You still don't like the sunset.

Vincent Daniels: No. That's what always brings me back to that, eh? Those nights, the evenings in the dormitory.

Uncle George: Those that were sexually abused are the ones that really, really suffered, eh?

Connie: Yeah.

Uncle George: It's a life—lifetime of trauma, and you never get rid of it, eh? It's always there. It's etched in your brain.

Antoine Sand: even as we speak now, there's a lot of the things that I've blanked out of my mind. They're just so terrible. But they're gonna rot in hell. [laughs] The priests and nuns will rot in hell.

Winston Walkingbear: I was in my 20s in university. I'd literally drive to Duck Lake, St. Michael's. No, but it was all shut down. It didn't burn down yet. I pulled up there by myself early in the morning. I'd purposely leave in the dark and get there at sunrise. And then I'd stand there looking at it. Oh, man. And I don't know, that anger came from I don't know where. I'd be just cursing away at it. Why? What have you done to our—the generations ahead of me and the ones after me?

Cookie Esperance: I know. I know what happened. I lived it. It makes me mad, For all the years, my growing up years that were taken away from me. That were taken away from me brutally, when I should have had those memories.

Antoine Sand: When I think of it, it's sad memories. When I think of it.

Betty Ann: Has there been anything that has helped you to heal?

Antoine Sand: My sweat lodge.

Grace Lafond: Sometimes we cry for each other. We don't want to sit there and share tears because we're crying for ourselves. It's for each other. Like, who has been held accountable for the things that they have done to us? Nobody.

Betty Ann: Is there any way for justice?

Frank Badger: No. The only justice I got out of that was the way I treated my kids. I've never hit my kids. Never. I hugged and kissed my kids and told them I loved them, you know? And we raised them right. That's the only justice I got was the way I loved my kids so much.

Raymond Cameron: Here's a honor song. [singing]

Connie: Thank you to the survivors who shared their stories with us: Eugene Arcand, Linda Badger, Frank Badger, Gerry Bell, Eric Bell, Orlen Burns, Corinne Cox, Vincent Daniels, A.J. Felix, Darwin Gardippi, Peter Gardypie, Grace Lafond Joanne Loroff, Doreen Mike, MaryAnn Napope, Antoine Sand, Myrtle Seesequasis, Carmen Tootoosis, Winston Walkingbear.

Connie: And thank you to the survivors in my family: Bill Cameron, Elwin Cameron, Harris Cameron, Ivie Cameron, Leona Cameron, Lorraine Cameron, Cookie Esperance, Margaret Gamble, and my late Uncle George Cameron.

Connie: Thank you also to Kamloops residential school survivor Dennis Saddleman, who shared his poem "Monster" with us. And to my brother Raymond Cameron, who sang this honor song for the survivors.

Connie: Next time on Stolen: Surviving St. Michael's.

Carol Cameron: He tried to charge that priest, him and another guy, but ...

Connie: So you wanted to charge the priest who abused you?

Harris Cameron: Mm-hmm. Yeah. But nothing ever came of it.

Connie: Is he still alive?

Carol Cameron: He was.

Harris Cameron: Yeah.

Connie: Who was it?

Connie: Stolen: Surviving St Michael's is a Gimlet Media and Spotify original production. The show is hosted and reported by me, Connie Walker. Additional reporting by Betty Ann Adam. Reporting and producing by Chantelle Bellrichard, Max Green and Anya Schultz. Our supervising producer is Ellen Frankman. Our editor is Devon Taylor. Our consulting editor is Heather Evans. Additional editorial support from Lydia Polgreen, Reyhan Harmanci, Jonathan Goldstein and Saidu Tejan-Thomas. Fact checking by Naomi Barr.

Connie: Original music by Emma Munger, Cris Derksen, Raymond Cameron, Catherine Anderson and Bobby Lord.

Connie: Legal support from Iris Fischer, Nathalie Russell, Whitney Potter and Rachel Strom.

Connie: If you have information that you'd like to share about St. Michael's Indian Residential School in Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, you can write to us at: stolen(@)

Connie: If you are a survivor or intergenerational survivor of Canada's residential school system and you need help, there's a 24-hour support line you can call: 1-866-925-4419.

Connie: And if you or someone you know is dealing with physical or sexual violence, you can find resources in your area by going to

Connie: Thank you for listening.