Culture & Politics

TW: This article deals with topics which may cause trauma to readers due to its troubling subject matter.

Advancing Reconciliation With Indigenous People. Canada’s Shame.

Image Credit: Lorie Shaull/ FLickr

The recent discovery of the remains of 215 children in a mass grave at a former residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia, has brought the devastating and vicious history of systemic abuse by Canadian governments and churches towards Indigenous People to the forefront. It’s about time that mainstream media, Canadians and politicians start discussing what Indigenous People have been calling for, for years—find our missing and dead.

How can we advance reconciliation and forge new relationships when we haven’t bothered to identify the countless unmarked graves of children who suffered at the hands of the residential school system? A full and accurate history of decades of tortuous abuse has not been achieved by this federal government under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, that falsely and immodestly claims to be doing
the work. The shortcomings of the MMIWG (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls) Inquiry did little to listen to all victims, to aid and to heal the thousands of families who have lost their daughters, mothers and sisters. Despite this, the National Inquiry’s Final Report revealed that persistent
and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people. It delivered 231 individual Calls for Justice directed at governments, institutions, social service providers, industries and all Canadians. The federal government has so far failed to deliver on its promise to implement change, and as of late, blames the pandemic for its continued dilatory response.

Posting your horror on social media is an opportunity to expose your peers to the awful history and mistreatment of Indigenous People, but more often than not, it is simply performative. Real action and
education is needed to propel change. Pressure your politicians to do better. Read and educate yourself on the real history of Canada’s role in advancing the horrific generational trauma to our Indigenous population. Call out the shameless, pervasive racist and prejudiced comments made by your peers. It’s not enough to be horrified by a headline.

Demand change. Take Action. Read. Listen. Learn.

Visit and read the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Here.

Read the Final Report and Calls for Justice from the National Inquiry into MMIWG Here.

WF has proudly supported the works of many Indigenous writers. Here’s what we’ve been reading.

WF recommends these podcasts. Here’s what we’ve been listening to.