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INSIDE THE VILLAGE: The truth about reconciliation

Episode 19 of the podcast: In advance of 'Orange Shirt Day,' residential school survivor Mike Cachagee talks about his lost childhood, the Pope's apology — and what reconciliation really means to him

Welcome back to Inside the Village, a one-of-a-kind podcast where all news is local — and no topic is off-limits.

In this week's episode, we explore one of the darkest corners of Canada's history: the residential school system.

On Sept. 30, people across the country will wear orange shirts to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a moment set aside to remember the horrible legacy of residential schools and the trauma they inflicted on Indigenous people.

Mike Cachagee is one of so many survivors. A member of Chapleau Cree First Nation, the 82-year-old spent his childhood in three different institutions, including the Shingwauk Indian Residential School in Sault Ste. Marie that is now Algoma University. Cachagee was just four years old when the government took him from his family, and 17 when he finally got out.

In a wide-ranging conversation, Cachagee recalls what life was really like inside those "schools" — and why no amount of money could ever fully compensate the children who were stolen from their families. He also talks about the true meaning of Orange Shirt Day, and why he finds hope in the young people of today.

For anyone hoping to learn more about the path to reconciliation, this is a must-watch episode.

Launched in April, Inside the Village is a news and current affairs podcast that provides a weekly window into some of the best local journalism from across Village Media's chain of Ontario newsrooms. The program also explores bigger-picture issues that impact people across the province.

Every episode is available on this news site /insidethevillage. If you prefer the audio version, it is available wherever you find your favourite podcasts.

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