How can the atrocities of the Native residential institutions of forced assimilation, continue to be ignored by the mainstream media, governments, and the public? (These institutions should not be referred to as “schools”. )
How can faith communities, some of whom were involved with these institutions, not advocate to have the truth revealed, and work toward reconciliation?
Some of the following might be traumatic for those who have had experiences related to forced assimilation.
The Facebook group, Every Child Matters, documents the progress in locating the remains of children on the grounds of some of these institutions. And stories of those who have been affected. Searches continue in the lands called the United States and Canada.
A community to provide educational resources, generate awareness, share events and actions and work together to create a world our 7 generations yet to come can feel proud to be a part of.
“Every person will do their work in their own way as we move forward.
Some will take direct action and take action. That is important. Some will write policy. That is important. Some will do ceremony. That is important. Some will share stories. That is important. Some will build relationships and understanding. That is important. Some will teach. That is important. If we all do what we know how to do, with what we know, it will be good.
Everyone and everything has purpose. Keep your ears and minds and hearts open. Try to listen to each other without forming an opinion. Listen to things as information. You don’t have to agree with it. But you can validate it as someone’s experiences, feelings and ways of healing. ”
As it says on that Facebook page, “Every person will do their work in their own way as we move forward… If we all do what we know how to do, with what we know, it will be good.”
What work will we choose to do? The concept of truth and reconciliation begins with finding and sharing the truth. One thing I’ve been called to do is share what I’m learning on this website. https://landbackfriends.com/
Try to imagine how an Indigenous person feels as hundreds more remains of children continue to be uncovered. And seeing almost nothing is done to acknowledge that. To witness the continued erasure.
The following explains why orange is used as a theme for some of what is written and shared.
Both the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day take place on September 30.
Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day that honours the children who survived residential schools and remembers those who did not. This day relates to the experience of Phyllis Webstad, a Northern Secwepemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation, on her first day of school, where she arrived dressed in a new orange shirt, which was taken from her. It is now a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.
On September 30, we encourage all Canadians to wear orange to raise awareness of the very tragic legacy of residential schools, and to honour the thousands of Survivors.