‘Many survivors are in terrible pain’

Winnipeg Free Press

By: Terri Theodore

Posted: 02/25/2012

VANCOUVER — Tears form in Barney Williams’ eyes and his hand rests over his heart when he speaks about how important a report on residential schools is for First Nations who grew up in the church-run schools.

“Many survivors are in terrible pain,” said Williams, himself a residential school survivor and an elder with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which released its interim report Friday.

He said the report is proof many of the 150,000 aboriginal children who were put in the residential school system suffered horrible neglect or physical and sexual abuse.

Williams, 73, went to a residential school on the west coast of Vancouver Island, not far from his Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation reserve, near Tofino, B.C.

He was “not quite seven” when he was first sexually assaulted, he stated. “Pedophiles have their victims. They used you for a while until they found another victim.”

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