Responding to the pain of residential school deaths
The horrific discovery of perhaps 1,000 undocumented graves of Indigenous children at former residential school sites painfully reminds us that we have not yet confronted the wrongs of our country’s past. More graves will no doubt be found. Canadians must come to grips with the severe consequences that colonialism continues to impose on Indigenous peoples. It is not up to the victims of this oppression to battle uphill forever to achieve a fair and just relationship. Today, we (the rest of us) can step up, inform ourselves, and take effective actions to create a country where every person and every child can thrive. Here are some possibilities:
• Consult the “Calls to Action” of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which were developed during six years of thorough investigation. This is easily available at https://nctr.ca/records/reports/ or http://trc.ca/assets/pdf/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf
• Put citizen pressure on governments to accelerate their lagging program to implement all the Calls to Action of the TRC. In the additional six years since the TRC released the 94 Calls to Action, only 14 have been completed.
You can check on the government’s progress at Beyond 94, at the link https://newsinteractives.cbc.ca/longform-single/beyond-94?&cta=41
• Get personally involved in local community events. This is not an Indigenous problem — this is a Canadian problem.
Let us draw joyfully together to create a kinder and safer Canada for all.
As Richard Wagamese, an Ojibway writer from the Wabasseemoong Nation, reminds us, “Faith isn’t about waiting for things to change. Faith is the constant effort to keep pushing through.”
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