July 31st, 1998
TO: ALL NATIVE ORGANIZATIONS
RE: RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS - "HONOUR OUR TEARS" - WILLIE ABRAHAMS
This is a follow-up to the information we have sent to you regarding an upcoming ceremony to celebrate "Honour Our Tears", the bicycle tour of 57 year old Haida elder Willie Abrahams.
He was forced to attend residential school from 1950-1957 where he was sexually abused. As part of his healing journey he set out July 6th from Prince Rupert on a 1500 kilometre cycling tour to raise awareness of residential school issues, and to raise funds to support the survivors of abuse. Willie also has been telling his story in communities along the way, lending support to those who have yet to break their silence, and encouraging them to disclose, knowing that there are people like himself who are able and willing to assist them. Willie will bring his tour to Vancouver August 5th, and share his message at the August 6th ceremony.
The purpose of this letter is twofold. First, we would ask that you spread the word about the August 6th ceremony at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre. We believe it is particularly important that people who attended residential school be invited to the ceremony. Second, we would request your organization consider making a donation. There will be an opportunity to donate at the ceremony during a traditional blanket dance. Thank you for your assistance.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any of the following people, Linda Jenkins or Jo-Anne Smith at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre, (604) 251-4844, Lou Demerais at Vancouver Native Health - (604) 254-9949, or Bob Kennedy representing the Provincial Residential School Project at (604) 921-1677.
All My Relations
Pictures of the Ceremony