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Jane Commanda of Garden Village was welcomed by students in Franco-Cité’s French/Native studies class, where she shared her experiences as a residential school survivor. Mrs. Commanda was torn away from her family and sent for five yeras, from the age of just six, to a residential school in Spanish, Ontario where she suffered mistreatment and cruelty.

by Logan Lavoie
Tribune Co-op student

Students in Franco-Cité’s first ever French First Nations Studies class received a special visit from June Commanda on January 10th. Commanda was invited by a student as an end-of-semester project, to talk about her experience as a former residential school student at a facility located in Spanish, Ontario.

Commanda was brought there at the age of six and stayed for five years, during which she was subjected to inhumane treatment. She recounted that her brother and sister were also brought to the school, and many of the kids there were from Manitoulin Island and Dokis First Nation, forced away from their family as she and her siblings were.

She shared a story about her sister who was punished for throwing up her breakfast, then put in a corner for many hours by a worker for not eating. She and her brother were eventually separated because he had to go to the boys’ side of the school, further alienating her from her family.

... to read more, click here.

An eye-opening classroom visit

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