‘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?

You can’t.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Opinion+must+honour+residential+school+survivors+heroism/8289610/story.html#ixzz2RZoGWS6n

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