I spent my childhood living back and forth between England (Berkshire / Oxfordshire) and Canada (Ontario / British Columbia). In Ontario, my parents sometimes took two First Nation children at a local residential school on outings and special occasions like Christmas, since they were not always allowed to go home. They were sisters, Rebina, aged thirteen, and May, aged eight. If I ever knew their surnames, I don’t remember them as I wasn’t very old myself. Nor do I recall which of the residential schools in Kenora they came from. Whichever one it was I doubt they were happy there.
Rebina & May’s mother made me one of these for my dolls. From childhood up, I thought the word was tokanockin, but research shows the spelling to be tikinagan (Ojibwe word for cradleboard).
I remember the school in Rabbit Lake (think it was painted blue) and not that I ever went past often but I did see some kids playing outside in the school yard a few times. I know it is no longer there (think it was torn down after being closed for so many years). I was told (by whom not sure) that it was for out of town kids with no schools on their reserves. I believe it was on the corner close to Rabbit Lake Road (think the road has been changed some over the years) AND around where the Drive In Theatre was for years. Do not know if it still there. I believe there is a new housing development where the theatre was. I never heard about anything happening at the school but it did close probably about about the time I was in grade 6-7 or so. Darlene and Garry lived on Airport Road in their early years of marriage so I think we would go past it when going to visit them. Joe remembers that one but he thinks there was also one on Rabbit Lake close to the beach. Donna