He is also survived by his sisters Marge Pete and Roseanne. He was predeceased by his brother Gary and parents John and Olga. John was born and raised in Clarkleigh, MB. At age 17 John enlisted and served three years in the Royal Canadian Navy.
Could you say and spell your name, please. Mary Battaja, no middle name. What Residential School did you go to? Chooutla Indian Residential School, in Carcross. What years were you there? I believe it was to How old were you when you started? Around 8 years old. Do you remember what life was like before you went there?
Can you talk a little bit about that? I was born and raised by my traditional parents, and my community people are very traditional, where we spoke the language and hunted, fished, trapped and lived 3 miles down the Spirit River, 3 miles from Mayo Town.
I believe the Anglican Church brought teachers to our village for Grades 1, 2 and 3. I still remember their names: We had school in the church for the children and we really liked it. Then for some reason the government I remember talking to my parents, and I can remember too, the Indian Agent at that time as they were called, a man came down and said to the people in the village that they had to move out of the village today.
So there was a lot of mixed feelings of sadness and you could hear people crying and children crying and people packing up their personal belongings like food and blankets.
You can only take what you needed because you had to carry this 3 miles, walking up the trail to town. That was our home.
My dad built the cabin and when we got to town we had no place to go. So my dad went to the trader who owned a store and made a deal with him to cut wood for him to get tents so he got 2 tents.
He set them up all through the seasons, like the 4 seasons we lived in tents year-round. When we had to pay our rent to this old White man we thought he was really taking our money away from us.
It was a lot of money. Life was really good for us before the Residential School.
People were close and helped each other and they lived off the land. They knew everything about the land and they were very strong people.
They are survivors, you know, even through the harsh winters. They knew what they had to do to survive and live on the land.
They teach their children at a very young age. In the old days the aunts were expected to teach the girls and the uncles were responsible for teaching the boys, and so they had a system, their traditional way, that really worked for them.If you are a student attending one of our participating institutions, you may have access to online tutoring services, delivered via a dynamic, user-friendly tutoring platform.
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