Lloyd Thrasher is one of the many children of residential school survivors living in the North. ‘There’s never going to be a time where I’m completely healed throughout my life,’ he says. (Randall McKenzie/CBC ) This story is part of CBC North’s series Children of Survivors | Impact of residential schools. This week we’re highlighting the stories of several children of residential school survivors and the effect intergenerational trauma has had on their lives.
Yellowknifers might have a hard time sympathizing with Lloyd Thrasher, but his story is among those that show the complex long-term effects of colonization.
Thrasher, who is of Inuvialuit and Gwich’in descent, is one of the many children of residential school survivors living in the North. While many have shared their experiences of breaking the cycle of abuse and trauma , not all are success stories. Many, like Thrasher, wind up in the criminal justice system or battling addictions.
Thrasher’s name is familiar to some in the N.W.T. for his lengthy criminal record, including convictions for assaults, property crimes and theft.
Perhaps most well-known is his conviction in 2011 for stabbing a woman’s dog to death. Since then, local news headlines have referred to him as "dog killer Lloyd Thrasher."
Now, Thrasher says he doesn’t know what to say about the incident.
"I spent 18 months in jail and I’m pretty sure that that’s enough time to pay for what I did. I don’t think I need to pay for it anymore," he said. Lloyd Thrasher says people make choices based on their understanding of right and wrong. (Randall McKenzie/CBC) Thrasher is currently facing charges of breaking and entering, possessing a break-in instrument, and failing to comply with probation.
His last conviction was in August 2017, when he was sentenced to 11 months in jail for breaking into a woman’s home, then resisting arrest and threatening an RCMP officer.
Fewer people know of Thrasher’s background. A 2017 pre-sentence report indicates he has been impacted by his upbringing in a number of ways.
Thrasher himself recognizes this, saying everyone makes choices based on their understanding of right and wrong.
"If you grew up the way I did, and the things that happened to me happened to you, you’d probably be in the same situation as I am," he said. Growing up in Aklavik
Thrasher was born in Inuvik on Aug. 24, 1987, but grew up in Aklavik.
Court documents paint a picture of an unstable home life where many of his physical and emotional needs were not met.
"Lloyd has experienced a considerable amount of hardship and sadness. He apparently had little in the way of structure, predictability or consistency during his formative years," reads thepre-sentence report, which was prepared by a probation officer.
When he was two years old, Thrasher’s parents split up and he bounced between their homes, those of extended relatives and various social workers.
Thrasher’s mother, Mary Louise Thrasher, attended Grollier Hall — a Catholic residential school in Inuvik — as a girl, where Thrasher said she was abused.As a result, Thrasher said she used alcohol to cope. It caused irreparable damage to her liver, which led to her death in 2013."She drank a lot, just about all the time." Lloyd Thrasher’s mother, Mary Louise Thrasher. (Submitted by Lloyd Thrasher) Thrasher said what he remembers most from his childhood is spending time at jamborees and Christmas concerts and going to Moose Kerr school.He also describes it as being like the Lord of the Flies , saying neighbourhood kids had little supervision."[We’d] go out first thing in the morning and stay out all the way, the last light of the night sometimes, and late into the […]
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