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Geraldine Robertson remembered for her strength, advocacy

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Journal Staff

An Aamjiwnaang elder who spent years bringing attention to the residential school system in Canada has died.

Geraldine Robertson passed away Dec. 4 surrounded by family at the Aamjiwnaang First Nation. She was 85. She leaves behind her husband of 65 years, Robert, brother Ted Maness, six children, seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Robertson earned the 2018 Order of Ontario Lifetime Achievement Award for her advocacy and work in helping residential school survivors.

She was 11-years-old when she and two younger sisters were sent to the Mohawk Institute in Brantford in 1947. The experience was a “brutal” one, she told The Journal in 2017.

An educator and advocate, Robertson travelled the country encouraging other survivors to open up and work toward healing.

“It was education that got us in the great big mess,” she said. “And maybe it will be education that will get us out.”

Her story was featured in the 2016 locally produced documentary “We Are Still Here,” which contained first-hand accounts of residential school survivors from Aamjiwnaang and the Walpole Island First Nation.

Mayor Mike Bradley named Robertson to his 2017 Honour List.

“A remarkable person who personified the best of the human spirit and true reconciliation,” he said.

 

 

 

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