Conservatives should distance themselves from Beyak

Senator's twisted perspective on residential schools and the horrible suffering students went through should not be accepted by the party or other Canadians

Conservatives should distance themselves from BeyakCanada’s last Indian residential school closed in 1996. The residential schools experience is not ancient history. Nor was the residential school experience positive, despite comments from Conservative Sen. Lynn Beyak. It’s easy to be blasé about the topic when you’ve never been around First Nation and Metis peoples who attended these institutions. It’s easy to…

Healing the scars left by residential schools

By participating in Orange Shirt Day, we honour the victims of Canada’s residential school system and move toward reconciliation

Healing the scars left by residential schoolsIn the fall of 1973, six-year-old Phyllis Webstad’s grandmother took her to the local general store and bought her an orange shirt for her first day of school. She was proud of this beautiful new shirt and beamed as she wore it. But when Phyllis arrived at St. Joseph Mission Residential School near Williams Lake,…

Truth and Reconciliation report riddled with clichés and factual errors

Truth and Reconciliation report riddled with clichés and factual errorsNo Stampeding for this cowboy last weekend. I spent it reading the 382 pages (including 1,210 notes) of the report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), called “Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future.” The central chapter of the Truth and Reconciliation report, “The History,” was crucial. It looks like a scholarly discussion of…

Residential schools a blight on Canada’s reputation

But Truth and Reconciliation Commission report doesn’t reflect today’s reality

Residential schools a blight on Canada’s reputationFor six years, the Indian Residential School (IRS) system has been on trial. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has listened to thousands of witnesses, hearing their stories in an effort to uncover and make known the truth. There can be no doubt that the IRS system was an assault on human dignity. The government-mandated and…

Road map to a winning Aboriginal Canadian policy strategy

Implementing these recommendations may allow us to turn a corner in Aboriginal relations

Road map to a winning Aboriginal Canadian policy strategyThe recent release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report provides all political parties with an opportunity to renew policies regarding Aboriginal Canadian peoples as we go into a fall election. Not all 94 recommendations in the TRC report are achievable or practical, but parts of the report contain the start of a road…

Canadians are very generous to Canada’s Aboriginal people

A few facts about native funding in Canada

Canadians are very generous to Canada’s Aboriginal peopleThinking hard about history can be a useful exercise if incorrect assumptions are reformed. This was one goal of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s report on residential schools, which, in early June, published a 388-page summary of its forthcoming final report. Others have already debated some assumptions in the report – healthy, given that history…

Learning to walk towards a residential schools resolution

What will the lasting legacy of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission be?

Learning to walk towards a residential schools resolutionAs Cree youngsters in the north, we are taught the tradition of how to walk on the land and in the bush – with each footfall carefully and quietly placed so as not to disturb the food sources that have always meant the difference between thriving and starvation. It is a hard won but essential…
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