Friday, June 7, 2024


           On May 31 I wrote a post about a special mural in Stringer Hall, Inuvik. 

           Steve Steve from Shadows and Light asked a question that opened a can of worms. Steve wanted to know what happened to the mural. Many things happened before the residence was destroyed. 

          Here's the brief history.

          Around 1950 the government decided that they would build a school system to educate northern kids. Their plan was to build one huge school and bring all the kids to one place. The kids would leave their local settlements and parents and live in a huge residence called Stringer Hall. It didn't take long before the people realized that this was a terrible system. The kids  lived away from family so there was no family life. The kids lost their relationship with their own community and family

            The people also realized that their kids needed and education. . 

                    Grade  three children whose classroom was an annex

                      Boys playing dog team 
                      Boys playing hopscotch in January
                            More hopscotch
            These little guys did not get home for Christmas or Easter . They stayed the whole schoolyear. 

 There were many sad stories from this system. Children were literally taken from their parents to the big school and hostels in Inuvik. Some parents did not know where their children were. 

      A campaign grew to have kids educated in their local community. Sometime in the early 70's the big school which held a thousand kids and student residences were not being used and closed. Stringer Hall which held 300 kids remained closed for a few years and when they couldn't find a use for it, it was torn down. 

     Today no matter how small a community is, there is a school. Kids are able to complete their high school with only two or three kids in the high school. You see grad photos with only two or three kids.

      I'm not sure what happened to the mural but I hope that somehow it was saved.