Remembering the life and legacy of Elder Geraldine Robertson

Geraldine Robertson - Aamjiwnaang First Nation Elder

By Colin Graf Posted on January 11, 2021 In Anishinabek News

AAMJIWNAANG FIRST NATION— Elder Geraldine Robertson, tireless advocate for survivors of the Canadian residential school system and recipient of the Order of Ontario, is fondly remembered as she makes her way into the Spirit World.

“[Her work]in educating settler people about the reality of residential schools, and her generosity in sharing her story changed our hearts and the hearts of all who met her,” writes Rev. Kate Crawford of Huron Shores United Church in Grand Bend, Ont., in the online book of condolence.

Crawford’s congregation nominated Elder Robertson for the Order of Ontario, which she received in 2017.

Whether speaking to small groups or hundreds, or leading a blanket exercise teaching about survivors’ experiences, Elder Robertson always impressed audiences with “her intelligence combined with the strength in her spirit which comes from her own personal journey,” Crawford said at the time of the award.

When she told her personal story, she was not interested in assigning blame, but always made it clear that “I need you to know what happened to me,” Crawford recalls.

Elder Robertson spent much of the last 20 years speaking about her experiences from Ontario to British Columbia, most commonly with the support of the United Church of Canada (UCC).

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