UALR’s Sequoyah National Research Center will present a lecture by author and educator Myrelene Ranville, a Canadian Anishinaabe, at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14. Her lecture will be on on “Indian Residential Schools and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.”
Indian residential schools of Canada were a network of boarding schools for native people of Canada funded by the Canadian government’s Department of Indian Affairs, and administered by Catholic and Anglican churches, and other denominations in Canada.
By the 20th century, a consensus emerged that the schools did significant harm to aboriginal children by removing them from their families, depriving them of their ancestral languages and exposing many of them to physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their teachers and other students. The last residential school, however, was not closed until 1996.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a public apology on behalf of the government after nine days of hearings by the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The commission’s hearings are ongoing.
Ranville was also the plaintiff in a case that went to the Canadian Supreme Court that dealt with gender discrimination in tribal membership laws.
Awarded an honorary fellowship last year in the Sequoyah National Research Center, Ranville is an adult education teacher who also teaches children to speak the Canadian Anishinaabay native language.
She was raised on the Fort Alexander Indian Reserve. She graduated from the prestigious high school The Collegiate at the University of Winnipeg and earned her adult education credentials from St. Francis Xavier University.
After a lengthy civil service career, Ranville now concentrates on speaking, writing and publishing works in the Anishinaabe language and serves on literary juries. She enjoys working with the young in cultural camps. She gives readings, speeches and conducts Anishinaabe language workshops in North America and Europe.