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
And corpses swollen
Never is a school
Or such grossly cruel
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.
*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.
A fractured mind held together by cellophane and some used tack.