St. Michael’s Indian Residential School | Duck Lake

The St. Michael’s (Duck Lake) Indian Residential School opened in 1894 and closed in 1996. It was operated by the Roman Catholic Church (Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus, Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, and Oblate Indian-Eskimo Council) until 1982 when the Duck Lake residence came under the control of the Saskatoon District Chiefs. The school was located a half a mile (.8 kms) from the Town of Duck Lake, facing the lake (Treaty 6).

Survivor Stories

“We are strong people because we are still here and we will be here until the end of time,” said MaryAnn Napope, a residential school survivor whose parents, grandparents, siblings and children all attended St. Michael’s School in Duck Lake. Star Phoenix June 2015
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An important video about recognizing intergenerational IRS trauma in students by Deanna Ledoux

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Eugene Arcand spent 10 years at St. Michael’s in Duck Lake and 1 year at Lebret.

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Roy Sanderson/June 2015, Jason Kerr/Prince Albert Daily Herald.
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Nazaire Azarie Bird
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Ena Greyeyes, Plains Cree artist and Elder (an IRS survivor from the St. Michael’s Indian Residential School in Duck Lake, Saskatchewan)
Former St. Michael's Photo by John Conway
Former St. Michael’s Indian Residential School Photo by John Conway
An 1889 Pass Permit for a parent to visit his children at Duck Lake Residential School. "The illegal pass system whereby adults could not leave reserves without permission, assisted in keeping parents ignorant of affairs in the schools." (Needs and Expectations for Redress of Victims of Abuse , Sage, p. 40) Photo: Saskatchewan Archives Board
An 1889 Pass Permit for a parent to visit his children at Duck Lake Residential School. “The illegal pass system whereby adults could not leave reserves without permission, assisted in keeping parents ignorant of affairs in the schools.” (Needs and Expectations for Redress of Victims of Abuse , Sage, p. 40) Photo: Saskatchewan Archives Board
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Shaun’s experience

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Interview with former student John Michael. Northern Pride Magazine

Audrey Eyahpase
St. Michael’s Indian Residential School (1963-1965)
Prince Albert Indian Residential School (1965-1974)

“I fought like hell all the time. The nuns would try to drag us away and they’d try to touch me. But I fought back, so they’d throw me in the cellar as punishment. But I loved it down there. It was quiet and dark and no one could bother me. … This nun used to take a broomstick and shove it down there. She did it to all of us. How can you sing to God and treat us like that?” Daniella Zalcman, Signs of Your Identity
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Dan Keshane interview, 18 Feb. 1992, Keeseekoose Reserve, recalled two priests, successively principals at St. Michael’s school, Duck Lake, who were sexually active with female students or other women (Miller, J.R. ,1996, Shingwauk’s Vision: A History of Native Residential Schools, p. 73.).
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Hope for the Future – Survivor Eugene Arcand Moose Jaw Times
What survivors think Gary Edwards and Fred Sasakamoose Eagle Feather News