Friends, it is good to see the likes of an old-time friend, Thebacha’s Henry Beaver, in mid-smudge, for a colleague like Aurora College president Jane Arychuk.

The photo, part of an article by News/North reporter Michele Taylor, is a timely and important one.

The idea is to train staff and faculty about the lasting effects of residential schools from our colonialist past.

As a 12-year survivor of these horrid places, one right there in Fort Smith, I can well attest to the fact that the pain within does not ever go away, period.

One of the hardest parts of it is to eventually have enough faith, to trust yourself enough, to just get by.

What makes it so current is that this kind of pain comes up so suddenly and when you least expect it.

I was reminded of it when reading in the same paper of the spouse of our most recent murder in my hometown of Radelie Koe. The young lady spoke of her husband Lloyd Edgi, in the picture with their two young children, also deprived of half a family.

Something is very wrong in our smaller communities when you have the two horrible murders in less than four years!

And I do applaud the family involved, wanting for forgiveness.

As a residential school survivor I can only feel a deep sense of anger, when I think of the potential for our future, gone missing, just like that, and both victims simply out for a good time.

What really rankles is that in Fort Good Hope we have one of the friendliest places in the North. It being so remote makes any person missing felt by all.

The last case involved the daughter of one of my nieces. The poor mother is still being dragged through the court system, wondering if her family will ever get some justice and healing.

When are we going to learn that these are social problems, which we already have the tools to face and deal with?

The first and most important part though, is to recognize that there is a serious issue to deal with and why we need to do this now.

For the time being it brings me some measure of relief that the Department of Education, Culture and Employment, at least, is willing to see its way to train staff and teachers of the lasting effects of inter-generational residential school trauma. Mahsi, thank you, friends.

Antoine Mountain

Antoine Mountain is a Dene artist and writer originally from Radilih Koe/Fort Good Hope. He can be reached at