‘TRC-Canada: What Joe Canadian (& ‘Joe American’) Needs To Know’, Montreal Gazette
April 26, 2013 § Leave a comment
April 26, 2013, Montreal Gazette, Steve Bonspiel.
The original headline in Montreal Gazette was ‘Truth & Reconciliation Commission: What Joe Canadian Needs to Know’, the editors have since changed the headline to read: ‘We Must Honour Residential School Victims’
MONTREAL – The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada opened hearings Wednesday in Montreal at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel that will run through Saturday — and there are a number of reasons you should be there.
“The commission was created after the $1.9-billion residential-schools settlement in 2007 between the government of Canada (along with partner Roman Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist churches) and the Assembly of First Nations.
Frank disclosure of the atrocities committed at church-run, government-backed residential schools have finally started to come out into the open since the settlement. An apology by all federal political parties, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the House of Commons in 2008, was seen as a step forward.
But for Native people, many of whom see the apology as shallow, free of any real remorse or substance, there is still so much work and educating to be done.
How do you fix the devastating impact of sexual abuse suffered by an innocent child of 6 years of age, whose only “sin” was being Mohawk?
How do you reverse the lasting effects of being beaten as a child for speaking your own Native tongue?
How do you give back the confidence stolen from these children after years of browbeating, intimidation and threats at the hands of nuns and other clerical figures who were in charge?