Fire at Beauval Indian Residential School


The original residence building of the school was destroyed by fire on the night of September 19th, 1927. The fire resulted in the death of 19 male students and one Nun.------------------ The male students who died included Marcel Lemaigre (age 7), Jimmy Iron (age 8), Alex Opikokew (age 8), Simon Sayers (Sayesc) (age 8), Raphael Corrigal (age 9), Jules Coulionner (age 9), Samuel Gardiner (age 9), Roderique Iron (age 10), Joseph Sayers (Sayesc) (age 10), Thomas Alcrow (age 11), Freddy Bishop (age 11), Antoine Durocher (age 11), Patrice Grosventre (age 11), Frank Kimbley (age 11), Alfred Laliberte (age 11), Moise Lariviere (age 11), Zephrin Morin (age 11), Albert Sylvestre (age 11), Ernest Bishop (age 12).-------------------- The Department of Indian Affairs assisted with the construction of a new residence. During construction, 20 female students remained to continue their studies. The destroyed building was replaced by a new brick residence in 1932. This new residence served as the home for up to 140 students at a time for the next 30 years.

Some of the male students who died would likely have been siblings or extended family members of the female students. Regardless of whether or not there were familial connections, it is possible that the sudden death of 19 classmates would have resulted in acute personal trauma for the surviving students. It is unlikely that adequate psychological assistance was provided for these students by either mental health or Elders/spiritual professionals. It is not reported whether or not it was acknowledged that the losses were potentially psychologically traumatic, or whether adequate social supports were provided. It should be noted that given that these 20 female students stayed at the school, they would not have had access to the emotional support that could have been provided by family members as they processed grief. It is unlikely that the consent of the 20 female students or parents was considered in their staying at the school.
Sub Event
Death of Male Students