Kids digging graves for kids. It is something out of a horror movie. Something from the Holocaust. It is Canadian history from very recent history. So recent that to call the attempted genocide of indigenous people “history” discredits the current survivors.
So recent that the child welfare system is a literally offshoot of the same system of genocide. Have you ever wondered why the indigenous population in Canada is so over represented in opioid deaths? In the prison system?
It’s not them, it’s us. It is well over a hundred years of a systemic dismantling of everything that makes someone human, relationships, families, culture, food, identity, place, drinking water, right to free assembly. It is over a hundred years of being told it is their fault for living the way they do. It is that Canada is an incredibly racist country with a police force created to remove Indians so that white settlers could take land.
It is kids digging graves for kids.
It is our government building this system.
It is you looking the other way.
It is me not saying anything when I should.
It is being ignorant and too polite to even try to understand the impact that it might have on your uncle or grandmother to have been beaten, malnourished, taken from their family, abused in other ways, witnessed their friends die, had their language stripped from them, lived in overcrowded sickness, and all of being called school. That they are lucky because they survived and are not one of the over 4000 kids (so far) killed by the system.
I have no solutions. But will not ask indigenous people to find solutions to white systemic racism. I will listen. But white people need to remove the racism from the system. We can’t expect those who our government has been so deliberately attacking for so long to suddenly have the power to fix a broken white system.
I’m white. This is on me.
If you need help you can:
The Indian Residential School Resolution Health Support Program… run by the Canadian Government. A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former Residential School students. You can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling 24-Hour National Crisis Line: