PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. – A former player in the National Hockey League has opened up about abuse he experienced at a residential school in Saskatchewan.
Fred Sasakamoose spoke on the third and final day of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s community hearing in Prince Albert.
He told the hearing that he was raped by older children when he was nine years old at the Duck Lake residential school.
Sasakamoose said a priest might have seen what was happening, but didn’t do anything.
He said he and a friend, who was also raped, were instead whipped and had coal oil poured over their heads.
Sasakamoose dressed for 11 games with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 1950s.
“I feel that I could be able to talk now,”Sasakamoose said Thursday.
He recalled getting up after the rape and having no clothes on.
“Then I started running, put my clothes on and walked out. The priest was there. He could have seen it, but there was nothing that he would do.”
Sasakamoose said he and his friend were trying to escape when they got caught and were put in the centre of the dining room during dinner hour.
“Took our clothes off from the waist up and give us a whipping, then poured coal oil on top of us. That coal oil would burn my eyes.”
Sasakamoose said he witnessed other abuses and there is “so much that I have to carry.
“My little friend that I see in front of me—in bed being raped. My brother, who I saw also, being raped in front of me.”
Sasakamoose said it is only because of the Truth and Reconciliation hearings that he feels he can talk about his abuse in such detail.