Deepest sympathies to our Indigenous brothers and sisters


Deepest sympathies to our Indigenous brothers and sisters

215 not just a number

Some of Canada’s dirtiest secrets have come tumbling out of the closet and as Prime Minister Justin #Trudeau correctly noted on Tuesday we cannot close our eyes and pretend it did not happen.

Trudeau was, of course, referring to the grim discovery last week of the remains of #215-Indigenous children buried in an unmarked mass grave at a one-time residential school in #Kamloops in British Columbia

In a “take-note” debate in the House of Commons, Trudeau stated that last week’s grisly discovery of the children’s remains is just part of a larger tragedy that saw thousands of  Indigenous children torn from their families and sent to residential schools, where an untold number of them went “missing without a trace.”

More bodies of Indigenous children may be found in other parts of the country.

Trudeau called the residential school system “one piece of a larger colonial policy designed to erase language and culture and to assimilate Indigenous communities so that they no longer existed as distinct people.”

Some may describe such a policy as genocide although Trudeau did not use the word during the debate.

But as NDP leader Jagmeet Singh pointed out, “these residential schools were not schools. They were institutions designed to eradicate and eliminate Indigenous people. They were institutions designed to perpetrate a genocide.”

We certainly agree with Singh’s representation of the residential schools,

We also agree with the remarks  of  Liberal MP  Pan Danoff who said that Canada was “founded on racism, and founded on colonialism.”

Damoff, who serves as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services, said as a result, “Indigenous peoples not only have had to deal with this 150 years ago, but continue to deal with it today.”

“We see systemic racism in policing, we see systemic racism in our healthcare system in Canada,” she said, adding that it is “unacceptable.”

We in the Caribbean community are well aware of these problems and our heart goes out to our brothers and sisters in the indigenous community in their grievous loss.

Damoff said all Canadians have to “take responsibility for that and all of us have to take action to make sure that we end the racism and colonialism that continues to exist today,

We have  been saying this for  years. We sincerely hope that the people in  charge are paying attention.