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That part does not bother me much.
InMargaret Butcher, a nurse who worked at the Elizabeth Long Memorial Home for Girls first as a sewing teacher and later as matron, described the daily interactions she had with the parents of children who resided in the home. Unlike many Indian residential schools, the Elizabeth Long Memorial Home was located in the Haisla village from which most of its boarders came. Children from the home also attended day school with other children from the locality. This situation made for close and sometimes complicated relations with the people of the village.
In the early s, Methodist converts urged teachers at Port Simpson to relocate to Kitamaat, which a of them did, including Tsimshian leaders George Edgar and Chief Alfred Dudoward, and Susanna Lawrence, the first white missionary at Kitamaat, who ran the village day school. Inthe Methodist Church appointed Rev. George Raley and his wife, Maude, to the mission at Kitamaat.
Within a year the Raleys had set up temporary quarters for children whose parents spent part of the year away from the village fishing and working in the canneries so that they could stay behind and attend school. Girls were housed in a building made of rough boards that contained a dorm, a small kitchen, a washroom and a storeroom.
The schoolboys slept behind a partition in the day school. Twenty-two Haislren, ages eight to 16, were boarded in this manner. The girls wore coats, handkerchiefs and, when very cold, shawls. Even then, though we had large fires, we could not keep warm. Inthe WMS took the home over, had a new two-storey building constructed, and provided for an assistant matron. The new home would board girls, exclusively. There were 29 in residence the first year. They also made an annual contribution of food and wood. These all had to be washed through three waters, salted, then strung on sticks and placed in the smoke-house.
This is a trial to the teachers…but we find the children need it. Their condition was deplorable.
I found them requiring help of a very practical character, in order that they might be saved physically and morally. Inthe WMS financed construction of a new home to replace the one that burned. Named the Elizabeth Long Memorial Home after Long, who had died init was two storeys tall, plus attic and basement. In addition to girls, the new home would receive eight to ten boys under the age of Twenty-seven children were admitted the first year.
During the summer months, however, the reservoir often ran dry, and sometimes the pipes froze in winter for up to five months. On these occasions the only recourse was to carry water from a well. The children attended classes at the day school in the morning and afternoon, together with day students from the village. Back at the home, they spent another hour in the evening reviewing, and by the older girls were studying music.
Inthe home managed for the first time to secure funding from the federal government. Children enrolled in the residence initially came exclusively from Kitamaat Village and neighbouring Kitlope, and they spoke Haisla at home. However, inthe missionary at Bella Coola sent six Nuxalk girls, accompanied by the Indian Agent, to take up residence at the home. They understood neither English nor Kitamaat so it was fortunate they were six and could speak to each other but they were almost too scared to do so.
By the s, the student population also included children from Bella Bella Waglisla and Namu, who were Hailhzaqvla-speaking members of the Heiltsuk nation, and from Kitasu, of the Tsimshian-speaking Kitasoo nation. Children from Klemtu were of both the Hailhzaqvla-speaking Xaixais nation and the Kitasoo nation. During this time, many children accompanied their families to work at the canneries.
Matron E. The others came when they got ready—as I understand they have been in the habit of doing. The people are always anxious to get away by the fifteenth of June…To get back in forty three days would mean they would have to return by the end of July, and their people are not then through the fishing.
There was a great deal of illness at Kitamaat during the early years of the residential school. Although the village had a resident nurse to help in such emergencies, the nearest doctor was kilometres away in Prince Rupert, and boats came to the village only once a month. Beyond recurring epidemics of contagious illnesses, tuberculosis was the predominant threat. Margaret Butcher recorded in her journal that one family lost five of its six daughters who had been in the home to the disease.
Inwhen yet another schoolgirl at the home fell ill and died, Kitamaat parents took action. They pulled their children from the residence and refused to return them. These grievances prompted an investigation by the RCMP, who attended a meeting of community members, home officials, the missionary, and the Indian Agent.
The home was already unpopular with many Kitamaat people before the boycott, and continued to be long afterward. Another ongoing conflict at Kitamaat stemmed from the situation at the day school, which served both children living in the village and those residing at the Elizabeth Long Memorial Home. Barry wrote inafter eight village boys were denied admittance because, with 59 children on the roll, there was no more room. Barry thought that the home, as the beneficiary of a residential school per capita grant, should provide its children with schooling as well as room and board.
Inthat day school was built, and the next year the DIA unilaterally closed the home. Kitamaat: Elizabeth Long Memorial Home. Elizabeth Long Memorial Home, c. UCCA, Kitamaat Village, July Elizabeth Long Memorial Home and the day school are on a hill at the far right.
Photo taken by Rev. Pupils levelling the ground in front of the home, Location of the Elizabeth Long Memorial Home and communities from which its students came. Red markers indicate Haisla-speaking communities; blue markers, Tsimshian-speaking communities; yellow, Hailhzaqvla-speaking Heiltsuk communities; and green, Nuxalk-speaking.
Girls in rowboat and others swimming, at summer camp, c. George Raley and the students published the paper, which included student essays, reports about the school, marriage announcements, and other community news. A Haisla woman from Kemano comforting her daughter. Archives, H School children lined up on the boardwalk between the Elizabeth Long Memorial Home and the day school, at left, where they took their classes, c. Kitamaat Village lies below, in the direction of the water.Female to date in Kemano British Columbia
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Kitamaat: Elizabeth Long Memorial Home