September 30 is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day to honour the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities.
Patricia Myran of Long Plain First Nation is a second-generation residential school survivor. Her parents both attended residential school, and Patricia spent 12 years in residential school. She has also been a historical researcher for the past 20 years and is on the board of directors for the National Indigenous Residential School Museum.
"In grade one, our parents put us on a yellow bus and sent us off to the Brandon Indian Residential School, where I spent one year living and going to school there. For my second year, grade two, I still lived at the residential school but was transported by bus to a school in the city of Brandon. For my third year, they sent my brother and me to a foster home in Brandon."
Patricia spent several more years in a residential school in Brandon, eventually transferring to Portage Residential School for grades 11 and 12.
"I was in the residential school system for 12 years," Patricia explained.
It wasn't until her late thirties, while taking her daughter to school, that Patricia realized how much the experience had affected her life.
"It was the first time that it hit me that when I was her age, I didn't have my parents to walk me to school. What my parents did was, they put me on the bus and showed me it was no big deal, even though they were filled with fear."
Although her story is not as horrific as others, she says the impacts of her attending residential school, still affect her to this day.
"I lost my culture, my heritage and my language. I've been trying to regain it back, but it is not an easy thing when you've been subjected to everything but your own culture."
Patricia hopes that the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will open people's eyes to the realities of what happened.
Today on Connections, Patricia shares personal experience and how people can educate themselves starting today.