We are sorry...and we apologize

We are sorry… and we apologize… (Part 10)

We are most sorry for the legacy that has endured long after the residential schools were closed.  If it was simply a matter of the past, something that is over and done with and is no more, there would not be reason for so much grief.  But the legacy endures and is all encompassing.  Families were broken up, parents were not able to share their culture, language and moral principles with their children, children were not able to be proud for who they were, and entire Peoples were denigrated and excluded from Canadian society all because of who they were.  The result, over successive generations attending these same institutions, have been profound and deep.  Made to feel ashamed for being indigenous, our Indigenous Brothers and Sisters are only now beginning to heal and re-discover who they are.

The closing of residential schools in the 60s and 70s has not been the end to discriminatory policies against Canada’s Indigenous People.  Over-representation of Indigenous Children in Adoptive and Foster Care and the restrictive measures of Canada’s Indian Act are but two ways that Indigenous Peoples find themselves at odds with the way they are treated, often more as wards of the State, than as a Recognized People.  Much work still remains to repair the legacy of the past, to overcome systemic/deep-seated racism, to establish an equal footing, and to truly be a Treaty People – both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Peoples alike, reconciled one to the other.

(For a more detailed understanding of what happened, please read the truth and Reconciliation Report: nctr.ca/records/reports, and scroll down to “Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future.”)