Truth and Reconciliation
The Truth and Reconciliation recommendations have been front and center in the news these days. But something is glaringly missing. Where are the truth and reconciliation hearings and statements from the Catholic, Anglican, and United Churches? Where is the Truth and Reconciliation from the government departments? There must be survivors from these institutions willing to admit to their wrongdoings and show remorse or ask for forgiveness. After all, the last school only closed in 1996 so there must still be teachers and administrators around, yet we don’t see anyone coming forward. That speaks volumes. It’s sort of reminiscent of the Turkish position on the Armenian genocide. The government apology on behalf of its ancestors (heartfelt or not) has proven to be just so much Babel (babble) in that nothing has really changed since.
If the eighth fire is to be lit, it will require the full participation of the aforementioned organizations. The living offenders will need to come forward, acknowledge their wrongdoings and join with the indigenous community in rectifying the current conditions. The damage cannot be undone, but it can be overcome. But it must be a reciprocal learning process as well as an reciprocal exercise in forgiveness.
This single issue points up just how broken our Canadian society is. It will take a massive reversal of attitudes to put us on the right path. With a few exceptions I don’t think the general population has any problem with this. It is the institutions and the government who must bend to the task and with full vigor! In fact the government must do something unprecedented. It must approach all it’s allies and the associations it is presently involved with around the globe and ask to be excused while it puts it’s own house in order. That way it could take all the millions of dollars spent on aid to other countries for it’s own use. Let’s face it, we’re punching way beyond our own weight anyway and our contributions on the world stage don’t amount to a hill of beans in the grand scheme of things. We are only fooling ourselves by pretending to be a world power when we don’t even have any power at home. How hypocritical is that? Having our own house in order though, we can the return to the world stage with some degree of credibility.
This is not some small adventure to be taken lightly. To call it a mammoth project is probably an understatement. To start with, the Elders are silent for they no longer know what to say. Stands to reason. It’s been seven generations of oppression they’ve endured. To borrow from something some chief once said; before you make a decision you must first look back seven generations, and then look ahead seven generations. It is timely at this point.
Yet I see this whole thing as a magnificent gift. We have been given the opportunity to reflect on our past mistakes and having acknowledged them, can set them aside as a reference point in building a new, powerful society that can legitimately take it’s place anywhere in the world. When we remove hatred and disrespect and the “Us and Them” mentalities, we will be able to raise our heads as a proud and powerful nation once again. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.