March 17, 2022
Premier John Horgan joined Deputy Chief Harlan Schilling, Daylu Dena Council, for the screening of a new video commemorating the demolition of the former residential school at Lower Post and celebrating new beginnings for the community.
“It has been a long journey for the Daylu Dena Council, survivors and their descendants, and members of the community to reach this day,” said Premier Horgan. “This video celebrates the new era of hope, healing and opportunity that is underway in Lower Post, and it confines this abomination of a building to the past where it belongs. It has been my profound honour to support community members in this important and long overdue work.”
The video documents a gathering on June 30, 2021, hosted in the Kaska Dena community of Lower Post. Over the course of the day, a ceremonial demolition of the Lower Post residential school took place, followed by a blessing of the ground for a new cultural centre.
The events were witnessed by members of the Daylu Dena Council, Liard First Nation, Taku River Tlingit First Nation, the Tahltan people, the Kaska people and residential school survivors from throughout the North.
“Since the demolition of the residential school in our community, the air has been cleared and our people have begun healing,” said Deputy Chief Schilling. “My hope is that this video will allow our First Nations brothers and sisters and all Canadians to celebrate with us and join hands together as we look toward a bright future for First Nations across our country.”
As part of the video screening, Premier Horgan and Deputy Chief Schilling participated in a conversation with Nathan Cullen, Minister of Municipal Affairs; Tristan Miller, member of the Daylu Dena Council; and Rose Caesar, Liard First Nation Elder. Sandy Silver, Yukon Premier, also shared his reflections on the video in a recorded greeting.
“Today, we continue our work to acknowledge the shameful events of our past and work towards healing,” said Cullen. “We do this together in our support of the Kaska Dena in their courageous efforts to right the wrongs inflicted upon their people. This video shows us what can be achieved when we listen, learn and work together to make a difference in people’s lives. As the representative of Stikine, I am humbled to support this important work led by the Kaska Dena.”
A new multi-purpose community building will provide recreational, educational and cultural spaces for children, Elders and the broader community. It will also serve as the administrative offices for the Daylu Dena Council.
The new community cultural centre will be built by the Daylu Dena Council in partnership with the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia.