With a program called “ReconciliACTION” Lillian Berg P.S. teacher Shannon Elliot taught her students about the history of the now-discredited “residential school movement”.
 
The McIntosh Residential School was located a mere 27km north-west of Vermillion Bay and operated from 1925 until1965 by the Roman Catholic Oblate order, with up to 183 students per year.
 
 
GR 7/8 Lillian Berg students at site memorial
Teacher  Shannon Elliot
GR. 7/8 teacher Shannon Elliot
 
Students came from the area, and from as far away as Saskatchewan in the west to Lake Superior in the East. The children ranged from 2–16 years of age.  
 
The majority of children were from Grassy Narrows. Students were initially brought by train to the station at McIntosh and then transferred down Canyon Lake to the school by barge.
 
Later this was replaced by road, with some of the more distant students flying in by floatplane.
 
The site now belongs to Grassy Narrows First Nation. Although none of the buildings remains, a monument has been erected at the site.
 
Recently, with the cooperation of Grassy Narrows First Nation, Lillian Berg School has been able to obtain a grant to maintain the site.
 
The site is used by Grassy Narrows and survivors to honour the children who attended on a yearly basis. The school is hoping to obtain ongoing funding (including local fundraising) to continue to maintain the site and to produce and distribute pamphlets outlining the IRS history and explaining the site.
 
In 2020, the grade 7/8 class at Lillian Berg walked the entire way from McIntosh to Vermillion Bay, a walk of 8 hours, as part of the “Walk for Wenjack” initiative. They raised a total of $780 for the Downie & Wenjack Fund.
 
They hope that this will be an annual event.
 
Citizens wishing to donate to the Lillian Berg School to further this initiative can do so by mailing a cheque to Lillian Berg School, Box 247 Vermillion Bay Ontario, P0V 2V0. Put McIntosh IRS in the memo line, and please identify yourself as a Rotarian.
Sponsors