In the 1920s, compulsory school attendance by â€œIndianâ€? children was introduced, sending aboriginal children throughout BC to live in residential schools away from their families, communities and supportive environments. Many in the lower mainland went to St. Maryâ€™s School in Mission. When they returned to their traditional homes years later many could only speak English, as they would be punished at the residential schools for speaking their native language. Upon returning home many former students of the residential school system found they could no longer speak to their parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts in their native language, further alienating them from their traditional families and communities. This alienation and loss of self-worth led to widespread alcoholism and other serious medical and social problems.
Marking Change Of Name August 2000
The Kwikwetlem First Nation
lost their main food supply, something they had been relying on for centuries. Again the native people lost a battle to maintain their way of life.
Winnefred Joe returned to her native Kwikwetlem in the late 1940s and found that housing was substandard and that people had lost much hope. Because the band was so small, it did not qualify for government housing funds.13 She remembered the floods and how they always had a boat tied to the house so that she could grab her brother and sisters and start rowing to a dike, as their lands were under water frequently. Indeed, their house was destroyed in 1948s flood. Many of the people 15