Did you get sick at the headline that the bodies of 215 indigenous children were discovered buried on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School? Good. Its awful, and its yet another genocidal act that Canada has inflicted on our first peoples as they tried to assimilate them into Canada. Canada didn’t include first nations cultures and languages, and to a large degree, it still doesn’t.
I’ve already had it white-splained to me that ‘there’s no way to know yet how these children died that they would have been buried there’.
Just. Fucking. Stop.
We don’t even know who is buried there. These were children taken from their family homes and ‘raised’ in a religious state-sanctioned residential school. If there were records kept, nobody knows where they’re located.
Of course we don’t know how these kids died. But here we are, 215 children buried in the dirt, in unmarked graves that nobody has seen fit to discover until now. It sounds like some powerful people knew shady things were up and didn’t want the truth to be known.
Well the truth will be known, and not just to the Creator (of whatever faith you accept). Because nothing less than the justice and dignity of a name and cause of death will come close.
On the other, more significant manner. Its genocide. We’ve been killing our first nations ever since we got here aboard wooden ships from Europe and beyond. Say it with me, “genocide” and “systemic racism”.
I want to say that we’ve made progress. Have we? I mean, we don’t scoop otherwise healthy and happy kids from their households to “educate” them in church run schools (to indoctrinate them out of their traditions and home-spoken languages), but we sure do treat them shitty.
We’re still in the habit of telling first nations how to act, how to law, how to career, how to tradition and generally manage their affairs – in societies that managed for tens of thousands of years, long before white folks like my ancestors…thank you very much.
If truth and reconciliation, the UNDRIP are to mean something, then we have to change.
Our first nations don’t need to be told how to grieve this horrible news. Sadly, they’ve heard this sort of thing before. Its not my place or yours to manage their grieve and anger of this to mitigate ‘our feelings’.
First nations are more than capable of self governing in Canada, they’re more than able to manage their lands and act within their rights.
They’re able to do these things because they’ve been telling us that all this time. If you’re listening.
I am trying.
I mourn with you. I am angry for you. I hurt for you. And I am truly sorry that Canada has done this to you.