Canada has been absorbing this week the revelation of the burials of 215 children at the Kamloops Residential Schools, many of them completely undocumented in our past, and mostly completely unknown to most Canadians. In an important sense every one of these children is a crime victim, the least of which is neglect the most serious of which is genocide. Worst of all, most of us had no clue that this burial ground even existed, although that’s just a little too convenient an excuse.
This week thousands of articles have been written on the subject, news stories broadcast on radio and television. There is much hand wringing and guilty statements about Settler privilege.
What I haven’t heard enough of, or even any of, is the genocide underway in Canada today across the country. Every day children are still being taken away from aboriginal families and forced into “care” where they are neglected, abused and abandoned, with many of these children dying while in care, or shortly after “aging” out of foster care. These kids are removed from families, single parent moms mostly, because of a system that still sees “drunken indians” instead of struggling people who have been largely dispossessed from their tribal history and context by colonial exploitation and continuing subjugation by the settler cultures.
Thank you for this writing – we here in the USA have our problems also – one of which no one talks about is the women of Native tribes disappearing at an alarming rate. Having grown up near the Seneca reservation in WNY – small town USA – we never became aware of problems associated with the Native American populations – again – thanks for doing this.
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It is sad to think of these lives being cut short. Disease can also be a factor among others depending on when their death occurred. Since the early 2000’s Indian culture has been officially espoused and encouraged in Canada. I think if we look there are tragedies found in all races and tribes of men who have lived on the earth.