Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 63 > Page 57 - Selections from Out of the Depths: The Experiences of Mi'kmaw Children at the Indian Residential School at Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia - A New Book by Isabelle Knockwood

Page 57 - Selections from Out of the Depths: The Experiences of Mi'kmaw Children at the Indian Residential School at Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia - A New Book by Isabelle Knockwood

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1993/6/1 (306 reads)

place to fill the space where she had sat. She told us in an off-hand manner that Nancy was in tiie hospital with taberculosis • 'the "gal? loping disease." "They call it galloping because once a person gets it, they gallop toward death and there is no cure," she explained. Every? one remained silent for a long while. That was our memorial to her. We were remembering the severe beating of yesterday but were afraid to talk about it to each other. That summer Mom asked us if we knew Nancy Lampquin. When we told her we did, she continued, "She's buried up here on the Re? serve." We told her what had happened to Nancy and she was aghast. "I didn't think they were like that," she said. Then she exchanged some words in Mi'kmaw with Daddy, suggesting that he talk to Fa? ther Mackey. The priest apparentiy put my father off by pointing out that he wasn't Nancy's next of kin. He said her fatiier was out work? ing on a ttapline somewhere in tiie Quebec woods and could not be located, and the matter was dropped. The next Sunday after Mass, the whole family visited Nancy's grave which was marked with a large Welcome to your home aivay from homzl These signs invite you to come make new friends and experience a unique way to enjoy Cape Breton's famed hospitality. For more information contact: Tourism Distribution Centre P.O. 60x1448 Sydney, N. S. B1P6R7 1-800-565-9464 bienvenue cfiez nous! Aux etablissements arborant ces enseignes, vous trouverez des hotes chaleureux qui vous feront decouvrir I'hospitalite legendaire du Cap-Breton. s Apmgnmot: Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation Pour de plus amples renseignements, s'addresser au: Centre de distribution des informations touristiques C. P. 1448, Sydney, (N. L) B1P6R7 Une Initiative de: 1-800-565-9464 Societe d'expansion du Cap-Breton wooden cross which read: "Nancy Lampquin, age 12. May she rest in Peace." Since that day, the circumstances surrounding Nancy's death have plagued me. When I went over the school register in researching tills book, I found this entry against Nancy's name in Father Mack? ey's handwriting: "Very deUcate and sick for almost a year. Died." THE SCHOOL CERTAINLY HAD NO TROUBLE in receiving fa? vourable press reports even when there was every reason to be suspi? cious of how it was mn. The most striking example of tills is the press coverage of tiie public hearing which followed tiie flogging of nineteen boys in 1934. It appears that some boys had managed to steal $53.44 from a cash box in Sister Superior's office. They had then sneaked out through a window at night and spent the money in Shubenacadie on cake, bis? cuits, gum, candy, tobacco and jackknives which they proceeded to share witii other children when they got back to the school. When the tiieft was discovered on Saturday, March 17tii, Fatiier Mackey began questioning tiie boys he suspected and called in Consta? ble Thurston of tiie RCMP. It seems tiiat tiiey failed to identi? fy the real culprits by means of their interrogation and that the decision was made to thrash all of the boys who might have been involved. Edward McLeod, the school handyman, was given tiie task of making a special sti-ap for the occasion. He made a seven-tiionged strap from hamess leather with knots in the thongs. Father Mackey had been suffering from a sore throat and after the exertion of flogging the first boy he passed tiie sfrap to McLeod who flogged the other seven boys while the RCMP officer looked on. Their punishment was continued by being put on a bread and water diet for tiie next five days. Meanwhile Father Mackey continued to interrogate other boys he tiiought might be implicated in tiie theft, or at any rate, "sticking together." On Wednesday he thrashed an? other eleven boys, this time without McLeod's help. Serving homes and businesses throughout Cape Breton Island Distributing tiie Wtiite ''''MH MHj''''' '''M '''' Mapie Leaf Products of SYDCOi' 38 Lewis Drive Sydney River 539-6444 FURNACE OIL • STOVE OIL • DIESEL • GAS • LUBRICANTS ENERGY FUELS Precisely what happened next is hard to unravel from tiie of? ficial accounts. One person who Uves in Shubenacadie told me tiiat some of tiie boys ran away and reported tiieir injuries to tiie Indian Agent who was working in a field near the school property at tiie time. The records show tiiat the Indian Agent, Allison MacDonald, reported the incident to Indian Affairs as a formal complaint. Evidentiy MacDonald's com? plaint became public knowledge and even resulted in ques? tions in the House of Commons.... When the hearing was held a month later it was covered ex? tensively in the press.... When they gave evidence. Father Mackey, Constable Thurs- V'ref'mjh's TrMidAgef'ci) We plan it all for you. 794-7251 158 QUEEN ST., NORTH SYDNEY
Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download