Pain and Shame

My head is reeling from the news of the mass grave found at the Kamloops residential school. I can’t seem to focus on anything else. There were children found as young as three and UIDs in children under 10. Sounds like geocide to me.

I think about the families I worked with in my classroom years ago. Native parents learning to be parents after five generations of no one knowing how to parent because they were removed from their families. Many died, all were emotionally and mentally abused. Too many never returned home. The shame I feel as a white Canadian and former Roman Catholic is insurmountable.

So what I have been doing about it? I have been educating myself. I follow First Nation content, I read and learn. I share out their stories and I listen. I don’t offer ‘my take’ nor do I tell them how to feel. I stand in support and help where I can. I invite you to do the same.

Join me and donate to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. So much healing needs to happen.

https://www.irsss.ca/donate

One thought on “Pain and Shame

  1. One might want to consider atrocities as having ‘happened long ago’ and believe that, or therefore, humanity could/would not permit them to happen again, in much more modern times. I, however, doubt that is the way large-scale societies — let alone border-segregated, independent nations — necessarily behave collectively.

    After 34 years of news consumption, I’ve noticed that a disturbingly large number of categorized people, however precious their souls, can be considered thus treated as though disposable, even to an otherwise democratic nation. When the young children of those people take notice of this, tragically, they’re vulnerable to begin perceiving themselves as beings without value. When I say this, I primarily have in mind indigenous-nation (and Black) Canadians and Americans. But I know it happens worldwide.

    While their inhumane devaluation as people is basically based on race, it still somewhat reminds me of an external devaluation, albeit a subconscious one, of the daily civilian lives lost in protractedly devastating war zones and heavily armed sieges. They can eventually receive meagre column inches on the back page in the First World’s daily news. (To the newspaper owners/editors, of course, it’s ‘just the news business and nothing personal’.)

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