Student Attempts to Runaway from Gordon Indian Residence

During her time at Gordon Indian Residence from 1959-1964, Geraldine Sanderson recalls that "every once in a while students would run away." Geraldine recalls that travelling from James Smith Reserve to the Gordon Residence required over three hours by bus. Because of the distance, runaways students rarely made it home before being apprehended and punished. Punishment varied according to gender. For example, she recalls one boy being forced to remove his pants in front of students, after which he received 10-15 lashes from the principal with a leather strap. Girls often had their heads shaved.

Date Explanation
Geraldine Sanderson attended Gordon Indian Residence from 1959-1964.
Implications
These incidents at Gordon Indian Residence reflect a larger pattern of abuse and student runaways, and the reasons behind escape represented a prevalent problem throughout the residential school system. Harsh, often physical punishment for runaways was common and undoubtedly led to a further desire to leave Residential Schools. For more information see; 'Runaways and Student Truancy in the Residential School System.'
Rural or Urban
rural
Start Date
1959-00-00
End Date
1964-00-00
Community