Feet Of Clay

Statues of the men who brought us the national shame that was the residential school system are being defaced, toppled, and removed.

An emotional catharsis generations in the making, symbolism that echoes in our hearts, but we need more than symbols. More than apologies.

It comes as no great surprise that back in the 1870s, when the residential school system was instituted, it was depressingly common to think that anyone who didn’t look, speak, or pray like you didn’t deserve to be treated as human.

The question that haunts me though, the truth that makes me cringe, is how did we allow this persecution of children, this destruction of family and culture to continue for so long?

The last residential school closed in 1996.

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None So Blind

I love it here in Canada, wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

Yes, the winter is crap unless you’re one of those coordinated types who like to slalom down mountains or fly over the ice, but hey — central heating 🙂

I like that we’ve had same-sex marriage for 13 years, medically assisted dying (euthanasia) since 2016, and have now legalized recreational marijuana.

I’m incredibly grateful that I live here — but then, I’m not one of the First Peoples.

We have consistently and systematically mistreated and abused the First Peoples of this country for most of our 151 year history.

Out of all the wrong we have done, to my mind, the worst has been stealing their children and forcing them into Residential Schools. We forced these children to abandon their culture and heritage, forbade them to speak their own language or practice their own religion, abused them physically and sexually. We did this for more than a hundred years.

But we know better now, right? We don’t still believe one race, or religion, or culture is magically right and all the others are wrong.

We do know better, but racism is alive and well in this country for many minorities and for First Peoples especially. Ask Katrina Anderson of St. Albert, Alberta, Canada. Her daughter, Candace came home from school and found a letter in their condo mailbox telling her family to go back to the reservation where they belong.

first peoples 2

None so deaf as those who will not hear.
None so blind as those who will not see.
Matthew Henry

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