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Victims of notorious residential school in court to access police documents

Former students of the St. Anne’s residential school will be in a Toronto court this morning fighting for access to police and court documents which could support their abuse claims.

By: Joel Eastwood

Staff Reporter

Toronto Star

Former students of the notorious St. Anne’s residential school will be in a Toronto court this morning fighting for access to police and court documents which could support their abuse claims.

Hundreds of children were boarded at the former Catholic residential school in northern Ontario between 1904 and 1976.

The aging survivors, who allege physical and sexual abuse, want access to the documents, which were produced during a five-year OPP investigation into former workers and supervisors at the school. That investigation concluded in 1999 with several criminal trials and convictions.

Edmund Metatawabin, 66, who was at St. Anne's for eight years, remembers staff putting children in a homemade electric chair for entertainment.

“They used to come to the boys room and put us little ones in the electric chair and turn the current on,” he said outside court Tuesday.

“That was a cause for laughter.”

He said the chair was also used to punish children.

NDP MP Charlie Angus called it a historic day in the search for justice.

“The children and adults who lived through St. Anne's have waited too long for this moment of justice,” he said.

“We are here in Ontario court to demand the federal government stop undermining the rights of survivors, to work with the survivors, and to finally bring a close to this terrible chapter in Canadian history.”

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