Prior to the establishment of the boys’ and girls’ residential schools in Spanish, Ontario the Jesuits operated a day school at Wiikwemkoong First Nation beginning in 1838. In 1862 the Wikwemikong Industrial School, Girls’ Department opened. In 1878 the corresponding Boys’ Department was opened by the Jesuits with assistance from the Canadian government.
Both Maxie and Margaret Simon attended the residential school system and wish to express their deep heart sentiments to the families and relatives of the 215 children’s bodies found at the Kamloops Residential School.
To see this memorial placed in Wawa’s Queens Park was a touching moment for the two survivors who moved to Wawa in 1952. “Wawa has been good to us and we appreciate this gesture of respect and acknowledgement by the people of Wawa. We hope and pray the government and church leaders learn the past cannot be buried, it must be dealt with in an honourable and just way” says mom and dad.