Like many of you I am sure, I have been struggling for the past week to come to terms with the finding of the remains of the 215 children at the former residential school in Kamloops. With all the horror in the world, it’s always so hard to know how to speak publicly for fear that it will seem ingenuine, despite the deep emotion and concern I actually feel offline. In this case, I think we all ask ourselves: why speak now, when we’ve known about the horrors of the residential schools for so long? Frankly, I don’t know the answer to that.
This time, as a settler who benefits from colonialism, I want to share the actions I am taking, aloud, in case anyone else is feeling the same way. This isn’t a post to shame or preach. Simply put: I have benefited from others who are sharing links and resources, and I am called to carry on the sharing.
Beyond posting this, I am:
- Sitting with the discomfort and sadness I am feeling. There’s a Settlers Take Action website, and I quote: We have to accept that while we might not be directly responsible, we still greatly benefit from colonialism in Canada. We need to understand that we can love this country and know it needs to be better. VISIT THE WEBSITE HERE.
- Reaching out to key stakeholders in our family’s lives to start a dialogue: my MP, the principal at my children’s school, my church. I need to understand how to speak to my children about this, and take action so that they are learning the truth.Yesterday I took my kids to a Residential Schools monument in North Vancouver. I didn’t even know it existed until this week. We laid flowers, read the names and talked about the tragedy of taking so many kids from their homes. There were 3 Indigenous sisters there smudging and reading the names-they shared with us a bit of their family’s story. It was pretty powerful.
- Donating. Starting with the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.
- Signing the petition for a National Day of Mourning.
- Getting better educated. There’s a free course called Indigenous Canada, a 12-lesson Massive Open Online Course from U of Alberta’s Faculty of Native Studies that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada.
If you care to join me in this learning, we are setting up a discussion group to meeting 3x/monthly starting in August. Sign up and /or stay posted on this by clicking here!