Reconciliation and Healing

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Ermineskin Res School
Maskwasis Boysis
This is a photo of my late dad at the Erminskin residential school in the mid 1940s. I want to share his story with you to help educate others and bring awareness to apart of our history that was swept under the rug by the Canadian government for over a century. He told me he never told anyone about his residential school experience and that this was the only time he would tell his story because he never wanted to relive the horror he experienced as a child. The whole time he was recounting his experience he was crying and his hands were shaking uncontrollably. He told me that this was the one and only time he would ever speak about his residential school experience.

. Here goes: At the age of four he was taken from his family home in Maskwacis at gun point by the rcmp. They came with govt papers telling them that all Indian children had to attend the residential school. He said the whole trip there he cried along side a whole wagon full of native children from his community and some were in childrens handcuffs. He spent 10years of his childhood from the age of 4 to 14 being sexually abused by both priests & nuns (children would go to sleep at night crying themselves to sleep because they would be plucked out of bed ever night to be sexually & physically abused), they had their hair cut off & would be physically abused if they spoke the Cree language. Some kids left & were never heard from again. (150,000 native children died in residential schools from disease, abuse or attempting to run away, either freezing to death or dying of starvation) It left him sexually confused, mentally scarred with identity crisis, shame, self hatred, loss of language & culture, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, anger issues and basically all of the isms in the dictionary that led him to doing time in jail when he would try stand up for himself or others against injustices like racism, inequality, oppression, etc.

If anyone thinks that native people are marginalized today, 60-70 years ago white folks treated natives infinitely worse and strong native men like my late father had to stand up against such injustices, yet they would be blamed for something white folks initiated, instigated and perpetuated.
Our ancestors have endured so much injustice, genocide, attempted extermination, abuses of all kinds, hatred, made outcasts on our own lands, looked down upon by people of other races, etc since 1492 at the hands of our invaders & we are still here. He told me a lot of negative things he went thru in his life but he never let them beat him & he made sure his children were not exposed to such things. Thank you dad wherever you are for all that you did & for being strong for so long. The harm done to survivors, their children, families, communities, and future generations is immeasurable. I pray you & all survivor of these residential schools can find comfort, healing & those who passed are in a better place. Hai hai.

The roadblock to reconciliation: Canada’s origin story is false 

A Journey of Reconciliation and Healing Relationships

Luke Dandurand (Wiyé.nox) shares his journey through reconciliation and re-building relationships. His story is about how a small but very powerful reserve, the Kwantlen First Nation, has overcome its difficulties, when facing the historical and generational trauma its family has had to encounter.

Wiyé.nox ‐ the man of sound. A name earned and gifted from the Elders of Kwantlen First Nation and his
hereditary chief Marilyn Gabriel, for his extensive background in music and capabilities of public speaking. Part ofmy goal and what I currently do for work full time is let people know about the success, pride and passion of my Kwantlen family and what has been accomplished through our community.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Fractured Land

A coming of age story about a young First Nations law student and emerging leader from northeast BC, epicenter of some of the worlds largest fracking operations. He tries to reconcile the fractures within himself, his community and the world around him – blending modern tools of the law with ancient wisdom.

Directed and Produced by Fiona Rayher and Damien Gillis

Haida Clan Strips Chiefs of Titles For Supporting Enbridge Pipeline

Potlatch

Haida Clan Strips Chiefs of Titles

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Commemorating The Tilhqot’in Chiefs

On July 18th 2016 many attended the Tsilhqot’in ceremonies on the grounds of the New Westminster Secondary School this afternoon on the occasion of the 151st anniversary of the hanging of Chief Ahan, who was buried in an unmarked grave near this location July 18, 1865. Ahan was one of the Tsilhqot’in Chiefs unlawfully hanged by the Colony of British Columbia in the aftermath of the Chilcotin War.

Tsil 1

In the course of his public duties as a leader of his people, Ahan had killed a settler who the Tsilhqot’in believed had collaborated in the intentional spreading of smallpox in their territory. Ahan was on his way to meet with government officials at New Westminster believing his safe passage had been guaranteed when his escort ambushed him and he was taken to New Westminster charged with murder.

The school district has plans for the site which may include an appropriate memorial.

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Critically, the Tsilhqot’in resistance to settler intrusions  — including resistance to  settler threats to use smallpox against them — underlie the recent Supreme Court acceptance of Tsilhqot’in historical territorial claims.  Tsilhqot’in resistance created a clear-cut case where national sovereignty was asserted against settler governments.

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Christi Belcourt

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