On the surface they are poles apart: Canada, one of the world’s most ‘developed’ nations and Nepal, still classified as a least developed country. But still, I keep finding parallels between villagers in Nepal and Canada’s poorest — Indigenous People. (See a previous post). Continue reading
This is old news by now but it’s great to see that a new school opened in Pikangikum First Nation, in northern Ontario, in October. The last building burned down a decade ago, so classes were being held in portables. Continue reading
Yesterday, 30 May, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne apologized for the treatment meted out to First Nations children in the province’s residential schools and for the racism that underpinned the schools system.
The apology felt anti-climactic following last year’s release of the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission but it should be welcomed as a sign that follow-up to the report continues. Continue reading
As a journalist in Canada and Asia I met many indigenous people, and I wrote numerous articles about their issues. I am far from ignorant about their realities.
Yet I realized this week that somehow I had still been denying the reality of how really really horrendously my ancestors had treated Canada’s indigenous people. And how that treatment continues today. Continue reading
Now that Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission has scheduled the release of its final report, the real work must begin: getting all Canadians to recognise that the residential school system was only a symptom of how society in general mistreated aboriginal people historically, that the effects of that abuse are still being felt, and that it will take an effort by all of us to overcome them.
I was happy to see the TRC’s Chairman, Justice Murray Sinclair, say that he wants to kick-start a national debate on how to bridge the gap between aboriginal Canadians and the rest of us. One very public way to engage would be to participate in the Walk for Reconciliation in Ottawa on May 31. I hope to see you there!