Growing up I heard stories about Residential Schools in Canada. Children taken from their parents and taught to be ‘European’ or ‘white’. Taught to ‘fit in’ our culture. And abused if they were found to practicing their own spirituality and ways of being in the world. When these children reached 18, they were kicked out of school. And they did not fit in or belong in their families and communities. And they did fit in or belong in the cities and ‘European’ communities. They were lost.
Two things I wasn’t taught. Thousands of children died and were buried in unmarked graves. Thousands of parents and grandparents never knew what happened to their children nor where their remains were buried.
The other thing I wasn’t taught is that Residential Schools were still open till 1997. Still open while I was learning about them (in a whitewashed way of course).
I am ashamed of my Canada. We have failed so many. We need a day (or week) of repentance and a asking for forgiveness. We also need to search and dig in every single location of a residential school.
This is not and never was ok.