History of Portage Indian Residential School
1880’s | Formation of the first Methodist/Presbyterian Church run school
1890 | A small frame school on four small lots and student moved into residential school Long Plain students taken against their will to attend the residential school
1910 | 56 acres of land purchased by Dept of Indian Affairs to build a residential school
1915 | New residential school opens in with 70 students and 7 staff members.
1918 | Portage Indian Residential School students survive the Spanish Flu, but a lot died from tuberculosis.
1921 | Legislation passed – compulsory school attendance. IRS expand to lodge 150 Students
1949 | Children not allowed to converse with brothers and sisters, or speak at meal time, mail censored, doors kept locked, pulling of hairs and strapped frequently
1950 | Truancy – students not attending school
1952 | Major work begins at school
1957 | Dept. of Indian Affairs and United Church reorganize Brandon & Portage Residential schools
1964 | Only older students – 20% run away
1965 | More major renovations, Jack Harris (JO) now is the principal
1966 | Glee club and sports teams formed
1969 | Indian Affairs takes over management of Portage Residential School
1970 | Attendance drops by 60%
1972 | Tragic plane crash with 8 students on Board including the pilot. The students who were on their way home for the summer holidays. All perished in the plane crash in Winnipeg.
1975 | 39 students left at Residential School – 20 students placed in private homes and Residential school is closed
1975 | The Residential School is closed and stands unused and empty
1981 | 45 acres of land and the building become part Long Plain 6B
1984-2000 | the building housed the Yellow quill College and DOTC offices.
2000 | The building is renamed the Rufus Prince Building in honor of a former student, former Chief of Long Plain First Nation, a Treaty Rights Advocate and World War 11 veteran
2001 | Long Plain seeks to establish the National Residential School Museum
2005 | Receives Provincial Heritage Status
2018 – 2019 | Full- time Director and Assistant unpack the artifacts and open up office and set up museum in 2 small rooms with displays. Tours of building and survivors share their stories with groups.
2019 – October 18 | Received a National Trust for Canada Governors’ Award for the inspiring ongoing efforts to achieve the vision of a National Indigenous Residential School Museum of Canada – https://nationaltrustcanada.ca/nt-awards/long-plain-first-nation
2020 – September 1 | the former Portage La Prairie Indian Residential School is officially designated as a National Historic Site.
Read article here: https://www.portageonline.com/local/portage-residential-school-made-a-historic-national-monument