PETERS – We call them survivors


Indigenous people who attended the schools in Canada’s residential school system are not called ‘former students’ or ‘attendees’ or ‘graduates.’

We call them survivors.

Like survivors of a disease or a pandemic — only in this case, they were not afflicted with the disease.

The disease is racism. They were victimized by it all the same.

We call them survivors like survivors of a disaster — a plane crash or an earthquake.

And it’s apt.

Only instead of happening in one fell swoop, the disaster unfolded over years and decades and generations.


The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide 24/7 support to residential school survivors and others who are affected. Call 1 (866) 925-4419.

James Peters is the radio anchor at CFJC, coming to Kamloops in 2006. He anchors the afternoon news on B-100 and 98.3 CIFM, and contributes weekly editorials to the CFJC Evening News. He tweets regularly @Jamloops.

About Mel Rothenburger (9126 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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