Community Consultations on Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) Ground Search of Fort George
Located a 20-minute drive from Chisasibi, Fort George was the location of three Anglican Residential Schools, two Catholic Residential Schools, residences and dormitories. Former students came from different communities in Eeyou Istchee and other First Nations located on James Bay and Hudson Bay (both in Quebec and Ontario).
Throughout this consultation process with Survivors and their family members, we hope to deliberate on if we officially move forward with the GPR process.
Over the last year, the Cree Nation of Chisasibi (CNC) has been collaborating with outside entities to learn more about the process of conducting Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR), consulting with Survivors and community members, and strategizing a path forward in our collective healing.
There have been internal meetings held at the CNC, as well as two community sessions in the Fall of 2021. Most Survivors and Intergenerational Survivors want to proceed with the ground search to gain closure and uncover the truth. A few others are opposed to this process, as they don’t believe we need to interfere. This is a painful conversation that has been ongoing since Kamloops, but we are nearing the conclusion of if we pursue the ground search or not. Every voice matters just as much as every child matters.
The goal of the CNC is to consult with Survivors and their family members (Intergenerational Survivors) as we deliberate on if we officially move forward with the GPR process. We held in-person consultation sessions in the Fall of 2021 in Chisasibi. However, the reach of these planned virtual sessions will include individuals from outside of the community including from across Eeyou Istchee, First Nations in Quebec and Ontario, and urban areas.
Three virtual consultation sessions will be held on:
We acknowledge that it will be nearly impossible to consult with every single person who has been impacted by Residential Schools in Fort George. Therefore, we have decided to hold these sessions virtually, widening our reach and ensuring that it is accessible for Survivors and Intergenerational Survivors who do not live in Chisasibi, QC.
1.Survivors who attended Residential School in Fort George, QC; and,
2. Intergenerational Survivors/family members of the above mentioned.
The reach of the virtual consultation sessions will not be limited to locals or even to Eeyouch who live within the territory but will be open to Eeyouch who have re-located to other First Nations, towns, communities, or cities.
It is critical that we allow a variety of opportunities for peoples’ voices to be heard.
We will hold an in-person event on Monday, April 11, 2022 (which will also be accessible via Zoom). Following this meeting, the Cree Nation of Chisasibi will announce if we decide to go ahead with the GPR process in Fort George. This event will consist of presenting our overall findings from the consultation sessions, results from our survey and anything shared with us via email.
The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of his or her Residential school experience.