Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Thursday, June 10, 2021

A Wound In The Heart

Today I make use of this blog for photography, and a more somber tone than is usually the case here. Flags at half mast: a sign of mourning and commemoration. This was taken yesterday outside one of the federal office buildings downtown in Ottawa.


 Several days ago it came out in the media. 215 bodies found: children. Buried at the site of a former residential school at Kamloops, B.C.. The residential school system is a dark stain on Canadian history: the taking of generations of indigenous children by the government and put into schools run by the churches. It is a legacy we are still dealing with today, as the last of those schools closed in living memory. Indigenous people and communities still deal with the fallout of trauma, abuse, and neglect. All in a program meant to "get the Indian out of them."

215 innocent children. Taken from families, from what they knew and loved, never to return. It is heartbreaking and infuriating and... the worst part is  that you just know there are more bodies out there. Buried in ummarked graves far from their homes and families. Victims  of a system that strove to stamp out who they are.

Other bloggers have already addressed this. I wasn't sure if I could. I know I don't have the eloquence for it. To call it a tragedy isn't sufficient. Nor are apologies sufficient. Speaking for myself, I  feel ashamed of my country.

So what's to be done? First, those children need to be returned to their homelands to rest among their people. Then every other residential school must be examined. Because there are more graves out there. And those children must be sent home. After that? There were people who knew. And didn't care. People still alive. They must be held to account. This is a terrible wrong that must be made right.

Flags have been at half last for days: one hour for each of these 215. And on Parliament Hill, around and beyond the Centennial Flame, is a growing commemoration. Messages, photos, indigenous items... and toys.... and children's  shoes. I leave the images to say the rest.

13 comments:

  1. The word "infuriating" sure brings it to the point. I´ll never understand why people do this.

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    1. It makes it all the worse that they thought they were in the right.

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  2. Again the catholic church ! In all countries of the world they have done such horrible things ! Even in Ireland where they also found children graves or they killed babies who had no father, Australia was the same ! And Amarican natives had also their share ! When I read these horrors I think there is no God that's an excuse for monsters !

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    1. In this case the Catholic church, but other denominations ran them. This is one of the reasons I want no part of organized religion.

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  3. This horror made our news also. As you say, heartbreaking and infuriating. Your photos bring me to tears knowing that these vulnerable children were taken all too soon in such a horrible way. Sadly it goes on around the world.

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  4. Such a sad discovery. So many countries have "stolen" indigenous kids from their families to turn them into what they thought they should be. Moving memorials and I too hope there are still people who can be charged for such a crime.

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  5. I read about that. It's so horrifying. And the last of these schools closed in what? 1996? You're definitely right about all the other residential schools needing examination. Followed by a ton of prosecution.

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    1. This particular one closed in the late 70s, but yes, the last of them closed in the 90s.

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  6. Heartfelt William. What to say? Being of indigenous decent also and taken from my mother this post moved me. The horrors that have been done to indigenous peoples throughout the world is still becoming uncovered. I know the horrors the "white" people can do, what they allow to happen to a child because they are tainted. The souls of these children will begin to rest now, they are seen, the truth being revealed. Bless their hearts.

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  7. It is the shoes that break my heart.

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  8. There are so many of these horrible things happening throughout our histories in every country. It's a cruelty that keeps going on and on. This is an excellent post, William. Their story must be told and retold so people can understand how these things happened and can happen again if we don't keep talking about it and prevent it from happening again.

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