Thursday, June 12, 2008

Indian boarding school apology

Powerful news in Canada today – I found it hard not to get choked up reading their words. Below is the Vancouver Sun article.

Premier welcomes apology as aboriginal leaders gather in North Van

Catherine Rolfsen and Doug Ward

Vancouver Sun

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

6 comments:

Dale said...

I am unfamiliar with the Native Alaskan experience with such boarding schools, but I know that in the lower 48 they are one of the shames of 20th century America.

I am glad the peoples of Canada are engaged in healing from their version of this horrible program.

Writing Raven said...

I don't know as much about the Canadian boarding schools either, except what I've read just referenced in some American Indian boarding school articles/books.
I would actually like to find some more material on this.

Renee said...

When I read the PM speech all I found myself thinking is now what...Politicians are big on apologizing for past crimes while the government is in the process of committing new ones. An apology does not change what happened nor does it have a fundamental impact on the way that natives are living today. They are over represented in the prison population and be enlarged live in poverty. Aboriginal women suffer the highest precentage of rape in Canada. There is also the issue of contaminated water on reserves and the continual attempt to steal land. I am sorry but I just cannot help but think now what...you've said you're sorry but are you actually going to do anything to make ammends.

Writing Raven said...

I agree that it is not enough, but I think that's why the last statement in the article is so important - that we now have to see real change.

But I also think the act of taking responsibility in public is important, not just so "everyone feels better." I imagine it something like a courtroom, in which an important witness (the PM) for the defense (the gov't) has said loud and clear that yes, the gov't is, in fact, guilty. It opens up legal avenues as well, evidenced in this quote from an "Indian Country" article about talk of a state movement for an apology:

''I think the United States government would make an apology if there wasn't that fear of being sued,'' said Leonard Wabasha, a hereditary chief of the Dakota who is working on reconciliation efforts in Minnesota.

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