Posted by: syncro
Posted by: chupacabra
They would have never let a bunch of rich white kids go unaccounted for in the first place, but if it was poor white kids that died 50 to 100+ years ago I doubt the government would do much but find someone to blame.
I think these graves are a turning point for public understanding because it can't be ignored and most people really don't know what the history is with residential schools.
I replied to this yesterday but it looks like it got lost in the ether of a poor reception on Seymour.
If it was poor white kids that were being stolen from their parents on the same level it was happening to Indigenous kids there would have been some level of noise/action on the problem instead of it just being ignored. Even though it was government backed, broader society would have spoken up. Because it was Indigenous kids though, white society didn't care. I hope that this is a turning point, but what really needs to happen is white/dominant society needs to change their attitudes and recognize that Indigenous people are important and should be a valued part of our society. We have much to learn from them, particularly when it comes to living in coexistence with the natural world. I think society will feel some level of sadness, some may even feel guilt/shame, but I honestly don't think this will be a switch flipping moment for people that currently don't care, want Indigenous people to "just get over it" or simply want the issue to go away. The change that should take place will happen over a few generations, even though it should happen overnight. It's easier though for people to be comfortable in their privilege than to challenge their identity.
Hopefully people will accept that there needs to be change and allow the government to act on it. The calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission cover most of this ground well, so the framework is in place for the feds to follow, but I there are a few landmines within that report for anyone in public office trying to tackle it.
One of the calls to action is this:
Repudiate concepts used to justify European sovereignty over Indigenous lands and peoples such as the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius.
The Assembly of First Nations has produced a document, Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery that takes this call to action further;
Ensure that the violation of First Nations’ rights to lands, territories and resources that were taken without their free, prior, and informed consent are effectively redressed
I think this is the part the clogs the gears. In laymen terms it is saying the the English did not discover these lands, that Canada does not have sovereignty and they are in fact Indigenous lands, and this is to be redressed. That is a lot of toothpaste to put back in the tube. I think even the most well meaning politician would have a very hard time grappling with this concept and without any language that defines the rights of the non-natives of Canada I can see why governments continue to stonewall. You questioned me for refusing to use the term "settler", but this is why. There has to be a middle ground and these documents and pretty much every legal decision made on native rights does not answer the question. If Canada is not legitimate, then what are Canadians?