Demolition ceremony set for ‘haunting’ Vancouver Island residential school

RED POWER MEDIA

St. Michael's Indian Residential School entrance, with two students on the driveway, Alert Bay, British Columbia, is shown in this 1970 handout photo. (HO/THE CANADIAN PRESS) St. Michael’s Indian Residential School entrance, with two students on the driveway, Alert Bay, British Columbia, is shown in this 1970 handout photo.
(HO/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The Canadian Press

A crumbling, omnipresent red brick building has been a haunting presence for thousands of British Columbia aboriginal people who say they faced physical and sexual abuse at the site.

Many of those who attended see the planned demolition of St. Michael’s Indian Residential School as the removal of a cancer that has been eroding the remote Vancouver Island community of Alert Bay.

St. Michael’s, operated by the Anglican Church from 1930 to 1975, has been the focus of heart-wrenching community debate for decades. Residents and survivors have tried to decide whether to leave the ominous empty hulk of a building as an example of past wrongs, or knock it down and remove it from sight and, hopefully, memory.

The first church-run…

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