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Canada Slay

Greetings, friends. Two mandatory caveats- a major Trigger Warning, we’re going to be discussing, “Residential Schools”, or as they would be more accurately described, “Juvenile Indoctrination Prisons”, and this material is so profoundly disturbing as to warrant one. My first, in fact. And along those lines, please refer to the helplines below, and do not hesitate to avail yourself of them if need be.

Survivor Support Information:

Residential School Survivors and Family Hotline: 1-866-925-4419

First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Hotline: 1-855-242-3310

Native Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-877-209-1266

Additionally, should you be anticipating comedic relief, today is not the day. I can find humour in nearly anything, but it would be beyond inappropriate, and frankly, there is nothing funny about this material.

Alright then let’s delve into this sickening mess. Initially I was extremely reticent to discuss these events, not sure it was my place, uncertain whether art from a mere ally would be welcome, but in the end, I’ve decided that any and every supportive voice is necessary, and the more decrying these heinous acts the better.

We won’t be citing cardinal statistics, partially because they are beyond revolting and also because with so many records intentionally purged by the guilty parties, I don’t want to mistakenly underplay the tragedy either.

A bit of background for our international friends who may be unfamiliar, in approximately 1831, the Canadian government and the Catholic church decided it would be a good idea to steal indigenous children from their loving families in order to reeducate them with a Western belief system. Shockingly, the results were abysmal and only in the last year have these children’s remains started to become unearthed, with well over a thousand now, and hundreds more being discovered on a near weekly basis. Today is also, “Canada Day, a theoretical celebration of all that is great about our largely flawed nation. There are many, many fine Canadians, but that hardly excuses our nation’s genocidal past.

We’re going to speak on the government’s complicity in a moment, but first I’m going to take on the church. Thus far, for the vast majority, the Catholic church’s response has been little better than the transgressions themselves, and I have zero expectations either of improvement, unless public opinion truly turns on them. And here’s why, when the ubiquitous molestation occurrences were breaking, and it was extremely well documented that for decades the church had covered it up to protect their reputation, my disgust at the time was unparalleled. How can an organization that markets itself as the literal bastion of morality on earth be so disingenuous and frankly evil. There are, of course, again, many ethical practicing Catholics and with them I’ve little umbrage. (Beyond the whole homosexuality is an abomination thing, still widely prevalent around the world and especially in Africa, thanks to their own tragic historic indoctrination.) And much like police who commit murder and aren’t turned in by other officers, you become nearly, if not equally complicit in my eyes. To this day, the church continues to deny, obfuscate and actively oppose justice in these matters, so my hope for any form of integrity to their newest public relations, (I honestly believe this is how many in their upper echelons perceive it), is low. You are cowards, you are liars and you are murderers. And until reparations in whatever form deemed appropriate by the aggrieved parties are received, so that true healing may commence, I will never let you forget it. 

Like I mentioned earlier, the government is equally complicit, but given the history I find if easy to believe the church spearheaded the project. They certainly were the cassocks on the ground, so to speak, running the day to day, administering the disgusting punishments and deplorable teachings, and it’s with them I place the most guilt. They did what they always do, seek power and control through falsehoods, and never allow little things like horrifying immorality thwart the pursuit of such ignobility.

Were there some who considered these prisons as helping and for the best, of course, but when the results are so loathsomely reprehensible, I don’t give a damn about your intentions.

I did craft a brief poem, so let’s do that now and we can continue the discussion after. Thank you.

“Pestilential Ghouls”, June 30, 2021.

A culture hijacked

Their babies stolen 

Permanent impact

And corpses swollen 

Never is a school  

Needing cemeteries 

Or such grossly cruel 

Horrid emissaries 

Intentions are moot 

With such evil results 

This sick labour’s fruit 

Of deluded adults 

A nation’s entire  

Dark collective shame 

All now can inspire 

Is never again. 

One note, babies is a metaphor for children in general, innocents well into their teens were abducted.

I’ve been hearing a lot of, “you hate Canada”, and that is hardly the case. I am very appreciative of everything my country has provided for me, but I’m also unable to disregard our dreadful colonial past. Yes, progress has been made, but for any whose first response is, “Canada isn’t racist anymore” ask any minority, visible or otherwise, and they’ll tell you there is indeed a very long road still to travel. It was literally only a few years ago a Canadian senator defended these very murderous institutions and she only finally retired, (forcibly), January of THIS YEAR.

I was already growing uneasy about Canada Day as a concept as the years passed and subjects such as the juvenile indoctrination prisons and overall genocide became more prevalent in my world view. But with discovery after discovery of bodies, how could anyone feel celebratory right now? And that’s without even taking into account the forever scarred Indigenous peoples who will suffer for the rest of their lives and continue passing that trauma down through the generations. The last “school” only closed in 1996. It’s sincerely distressing, and to those who absolutely must celebrate, may I point out, you can wave a flag and BBQ cheeseburgers literally ANY other day of the year. Let’s please try compassion today.

I did hear an idea I quite liked about modifying Canada Day to be both a celebration and an educational tool for the darker moments of our country. The two are not always mutually exclusive, but not this year. Not while the so many innocent babies are still being pulled from the ground.

I’m definitely going to get letters, as they say, about this one, but I’m going to try to respond to anything that isn’t brazenly hateful because it’s essential we have these conversations. And, at best, they will be uncomfortable, but denial is no longer, and never was an option.

This is the hardest post I’ve ever written, and despite having suffered some fairly serious traumas of my own, I cannot even begin to understand the horrid depths of these dear people’s suffering. I am so very sorry, and hope desperately that your every future is so bright as to blind those who still refuse to see, forever searing these unbearable realities to their naïve psyches. As they are so indelibly bound to mine.

Love and Justice to you all.

-Alex Blaikie

*If any were inclined towards donations over the next week, please instead direct to a leading Indigenous charity, such as one of the Hotlines mentioned above. Alternatively, any I do receive will be so delivered by myself.

**Sorry for any extra typos or syntax errors than normal. I proofread this once but I’m honestly lacking the strength to go through it again. Thank you.

Categories: new original poetry politics writing

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A fractured mind held together by cellophane and some used tack.

13 replies

  1. A reason I do not follow man’s structure of religion. Innumerable atrocities, wars and genocide have been carried out by the ‘righteous’ in the name of one religion or another, basically since the dawn of ‘civilization’. Religion is little more than another useful tool to control the behaviors of people and justify abhorrent acts in the name of a god.

    I understand, far to well, the hesitancy, as an artist, to express a personal opinion about anything these days. Especially, if the opinion is not the current, or popular flavor in society, right now. Opinions, right, wrong, popular, or not, can turn a part of a fan base sour. I applaud your courage to speak up about something you feel strongly about.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Truly, thank you, Joan. This post was, to say the least, wildly unpopular. Those reaching out of a similar viewpoint are providing legitimate solace to me in the sense that there are like minded, empathetic and pragmatic individuals out there, working to correct these base atrocities and refusing to be blinded by tradition and irrationality. Thank you for reading and even more for taking the time to express yourself so eloquently. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello, again, Alex. As previously mentioned, I sent my friend, tenured at a Canadian university, your Canada Slay. Simultaneously, he sent me the following.

        Hi Dave,

        Thanks for sharing Patty’s response. I did get the feeling that the video had captured a slice of life of someone living with autism.

        Maria and I attended a “Canada Day-No Pride in Genocide” march and rally yesterday that ended with the toppling of imperial statues in front of our législative assembly. Unfortunately we had already left when this happened:

        Queen Victoria statue toppled in Canada over deaths of indigenous children – video

        Since the revelations of unmarked graves surfaced in the past 2 weeks, some 6 Catholic churches have been torched across the country, mainly in indigenous communities.


        Liked by 3 people

      2. While I personally could never condone the burning of any building, parochial or otherwise, how could I possibly fail to sympathize with the equally burning rage this deplorable and far too unacknowledged atrocity(ies) provoke. The statues on the other hand, by all means. This type of history is for books not for public display. I can only imagine the gut punch that must occur when seeing these displays let alone veneration of the extremely questionable figures. Bring them all down as far as I’m concerned. And for those who were splashed with red paint, including here in Kitchener, that blood was always there, the only difference being now it’s more accurately visible.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Alex, sincerity makes you look alert and convincing. I will attempt to say more, but for the moment, I am forwarding Canada Slay to one of my best friends. He has tenure as a professor at Canadian university. He is very much alone in teaching really well, while also inspiring his students to participate is protest action. He is especially concerned about the situation for First Nation people. He was deeply involved with the recent Cancel Canada Day Movement.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, David. Your friend sounds like a professor from whom I could learn a great deal. I sincerely hope one day all the pain and suffering mwill finally be able to diminish for these peoples who’s only crime was to exist. As always, thank you for reading and expressing yourself, you and others like you are much of what inspires me to continue on. Thank. you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As a Christian in the U.S., well aware of the unfortunate association with white supremacy and “evangelical Christianity” (that whole business disgusts me and breaks my heart), I was astonished when I began to hear about these resident school burial grounds. This is heartbreaking, as well. For what it’s worth, my prayers are with all of Canada as you all process these horrible crimes against human beings. I hope that some manner of “justice” can come about, although I wonder how that might be.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. thank you Alex for taking a stand and doing what you can for those peoples who have been so brutalized, and speaking up when many are silent.

    Liked by 2 people

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