My heart aches for the Indigenous community. I was deeply appalled by the preliminary discovery last week of the remains of 215 Indigenous children - students of Canada's largest residential school in Kamloops. I've seen many of you reposting and sharing the story on your social media platforms, as I did. Looking at my own young daughter, I can't imagine the pain and suffering of all those affected over seven generations of oppression and abuse. "It was our government's policy to 'get rid of the Indian' in the child," said Chief Bellegarde. "It was a breakdown of self, the breakdown of family, community and nation."
I feel as allies and Canadians alike we can do more than just repost. We must listen & learn, care & support our First Nation community.
When the news came out about the unmarked graves at the residential school I was in a state of shock. I felt sad and embarrassed by my own ignorance having lived in Canada for over 30 years and not educating myself further on the real history. We cannot ask them to forgive until we have listened to the whole story, to understand them, their way of life, culture and traditions and their history, good and bad. The message is clear that we must engage in thoughtful, honorable dialogue if together we will improve their quality of life in Canada.
As my birthday approaches on June 7th, my wish this year is for a positive step forward towards truth and reconciliation. I've decided to start a fundraiser for the INDIAN RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL SURVIVORS SOCIETY over the month of June - National Indigenous History Month.
Please share and donate if you can.