Fort Smith residents mull legacy of residential school buildings still in use


People in Fort Smith, N.W.T., are debating whether their community’s schools need to be rebuilt in order to finally get rid of the pain from the residential school era. 

Fort Smith’s two schools, Joseph Burr Tyrrell Elementary School and Paul William Kaiser High School, are modern schools set in the same buildings that were once used as residential schools from the 1950s to the mid-1970s, according to Frieda Martselos, MLA for Thebacha. 

In the latest sitting of the N.W.T. legislature, she pushed the government to build new ones in their place, in the wake of the discovery of the remains of 215 children at the Kamloops Residential School.

“Numerous people have

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