We Were Children: Screening & Interactive Workshop

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Program Description

About This Program

The activities in this workshop are designed to create a reflective learning space.  

The main goals of the activities are to:

  • Create understanding of our shared Canadian history
  • Engage respectfully in dialogue about the experiences of Indian Residential School Survivors
  • Discuss resilience development
  • Recognize and understand contemporary manifestations of the legacy of the Indian Residential School System
  • Consider and discuss our collective role in reconciliation


  • Opening prayer
  • Introductory activities (60 min)
  • Film Screening (82 min)
  • Discussion (60 min)
  • Closing prayer  

An Elder will be present in respect to Indigenous ways of being. Presented in partnership with the Orange Shirt Day Subcommittee of GPACOS.

About the film:

We Were Children (1 hr 23 min)
Warning: this film contains disturbing content and is recommended for audiences 16 years of age and older. Parental discretion, and/or watching this film within a group setting, is strongly advised. If you need counselling support, please contact Health Canada.

In this feature film, the profound impact of the Canadian government’s residential school system is conveyed through the eyes of two children who were forced to face hardships beyond their years. As young children, Lyna and Glen were taken from their homes and placed in church-run boarding schools, where they suffered years of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, the effects of which persist in their adult lives. We Were Children gives voice to a national tragedy and demonstrates the incredible resilience of the human spirit

Watch the trailer

About the facilitator:
Shauna Livesey is a Cree and Dane-zaa woman from Grande Prairie Alberta. She is an advocate for Indigenous ways of being, revitalization of culture and reconciliation. Shauna has a Diploma and Bachelor's Degree in Social Work and is currently working on her Masters in Clinical Social Work practice.