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Long after the Kuper Island Residential School was torn down, the survivors are still haunted by what happened there. Investigative reporter Duncan McCue exposes buried police investigations, confronts perpetrators of abuse and witnesses a community trying to rebuild — literally on top of the old school’s ruins and the unmarked graves of Indigenous children. Episodes release Tuesdays, starting May 17.
Duncan McCue travels to Penelakut, an island off the coast of B.C., and the site of the Kuper Island Residential School. The community has torn down the reviled building, but the dark memories of what happened at the nearly-century old institution linger. Survivors James and Tony Charlie give a tour of their old school grounds, and we look into the mystery of what happened to one boy, Richard Thomas, who did not make it out alive.
What was it like to be a student at one of the most notorious residential schools in Canada? Survivors James and Tony Charlie share their own account of recurring sexual abuse at the hands of their teachers, starting with a fateful trip to Montreal's Expo '67. Their stories speak to how abuse rotted all facets of school life — and how at Kuper Island, no child was spared.
E3: Sink or Swim

E3: Sink or Swim

2022-05-3136:218

Survivor Belvie Brebber tells us about her five years at Kuper Island Residential School, a time filled with fear, cruelty and sexual violence. Belvie makes it out alive, but her younger brother Richard Thomas does not. She describes a terrible phone call that shattered her family forever, and why she never believed the school's story that her beloved brother died by suicide.
Richard Thomas was smart, kind and well-loved. He was having no problems in school and he wanted to go further in education. Then inexplicably, days before his graduation, he’s found dead in the Kuper Island school gym. His death was ruled a suicide — with no further questions as to why. We piece together a portrait of the teenager through his own writings, and find an old coroner’s report that raises more questions than answers about how Thomas died.
E5: Feeding the Dead

E5: Feeding the Dead

2022-06-1438:041

An archaeologist uses the stories of survivors and a ground-penetrating radar machine to pinpoint where children who died at the Kuper Island school were buried, sometimes in places where no one ever wanted them to be found. And we explore how the Hul'qumi'num people honour their ancestral dead, and why this work is important when it comes to unsettled spirits and unmarked graves.
We explore what really happened during a 1990s RCMP task force investigation triggered by the high number of allegations of sexual abuses at the Kuper Island Residential School, and track down a former staff member who witnessed the horrors firsthand. We learn one of the abusers at the school, Brother Glenn Doughty, is still alive. We try to reach him and learn troubling information about his whereabouts.
The children who attended Kuper Island Residential School faced a terrible aftermath trying to process what happened. The abuse they suffered there often coloured their relationships with family and community — with devastating results. Meanwhile, the team learns one of the perpetrators from the school spent his later years being taken care of in relative comfort — all paid for by the Oblates. They demand to know why.
E8: Every Child Matters

E8: Every Child Matters

2022-07-0553:235

The team tracks down the last person to ever see Richard Thomas alive at Kuper Island Residential School. Donnie Sampson was just 10 years old at the time and has disturbing memories of the day — that include a familiar and problematic name from the past. Host Duncan McCue takes the results of the investigation back to Richard’s sister Belvie who must decide what to do next. In Penelakut, the community rallies around their children — the new generation, the adult survivors still healing, and all the ones who never came home.
John and Amanda have lived on the fringes their whole lives. They’re on welfare, living with John’s grandma, and struggling with addiction to opioids and Dungeons and Dragons. They’ve followed crooked paths to this point. John played in heavy metal bands and dabbled with Satanism. Amanda left home and discovered heroin before her 18th birthday. The couple converts to Islam in an attempt to turn their lives around. But things take a wild turn when a mysterious figure enters their lives and draws them into a web of conspiracy, deception and terror. More episodes are available at smarturl.it/pressurecookercbc
Comments (10)

Ruth McLoughlin

Ruth Elizabeth, this final episode was so heartbreaking. I recently went to my son's graduation and as each name was read out a huge cheer went up for all these promising young adults, we sat in the audience so proud. The futures of those children, those promising future young adults at Kuper Island was torn away and stamped on by evil, it must never be forgotten

Aug 30th
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Stephanie Atwood

Horrible events but it’s an important and necessary story to tell. Wonderful job

Aug 3rd
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Angela Iser

Sending love and prayer to all the survivors.. and to all the children that did not. Its stomach turning to think monsters get away with ruining another's life. These Monsters deserve the electric chair.

Jul 29th
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Robin Tobin

A fantastic podcast telling just a few of the necessary stories. It was heartbreaking to listen to, but a few tears shed while listening is nothing in comparison to enduring these atrocities first hand. Haych'qa for sharing these stories with the world.

Jul 28th
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Abi M

Horrific, but very necessary storytelling. Thanks.

Jul 22nd
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Kirsten Fencker

Even though it was a heartbreaking story - thank you for sharing your stories - qujanaq ❤️

Jul 13th
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Valerie Marasco Whritenour

Such a heartbreaking story. These poor children didn’t stand a chance against those horrible monsters. Thank you for sharing this. So we’ll told. May God bless their souls.

Jul 6th
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Kirlin Kathleen

One of my favorite songs to listen to when walking, riding, or lounging in the backyard. There is always something new to learn....trust me - DO NOT MISS THIS ONE! https://waffle-game.com

Jun 14th
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Peggy Lowe

this episode started with an ad for some kind of pubic hair shaver for men, if I understood what they were advertising. Wildly inappropriate and tone deaf when the podccast is dealing with child rape and sexual abuse. I can't be the only one with thaat opinion.

Jun 7th
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