“Yes, madam, no, sir, thank you, please: you say all this naturally, in a non-coercive way!” That’s what a white CBC journalist noticed after watching a movie at a school in Kamloops in 1962 filmed in British Columbia. The polite kids that the TV maker was passionate about were indigenous. They were not voluntarily in “boarding schools”, which were often run by churches. In “Children’s Eyes”, shown at Christmas 1962 on CBC, Aboriginal children are seen praying, singing, and in the classroom. “Not many of you can be worse than your parents,” declared one of the guards to the camera.
The daily horrors that children in 130 institutions across the country were subjected to were not so obvious. At the time of the shooting, Kamloops was working monk Gerald Matthew Moran, who was convicted decades later of sexually abusing boys at a very advanced age. Decades later, former prisoners also reported that the girls were also raped. One of them was Janet Gaul, who testified in 2013: “At night, a guard walked into the dormitory and blinded us with a flashlight. We asked ourselves: Who is he going to take with him this time?” The school in Kamloops made headlines again after the remains of 215 children were found buried there. .
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