I’m as mad as hell. The last few day the media has been replete with stories about the finding of 215 unmarked graves buried at the “Canadian” Residential School in Kamloops run by the Catholic Church. As a Canadian citizen, I am shocked, stunned, aghast: I cannot find the word to truly describe my disgust to the news of this horror. I am not really surprised however and expect this figure will rise as other residential schools are investigated.
The residential school system was started in colonial New France (now Quebec) by Roman Catholic missionaries in 1817 to convert “barbaric Indians” into Catholic believers. This is 50 years before Canada became a country in 1867. In that year, the Canadian government introduced the “Indian Act” to culturally and territorially disenfranchise the Indians, financially supporting but leaving the administration to both predominantly Catholic and Anglican churches until 1996 when the last school closed.
During those 129 years, 150,000 Indian, Métis, and in Inuit children between the ages of four and 16 attended 139 Indian residential schools with more than a “reported” 4,100 dying while in the care of those two churches. This death rate of approximately 4% is double the 2% found in outside society. Those children who lived and died suffered horrific physical abuse: strapping, “cat-o-nine-tails, beaver snare traps, rape, malnutrition, humiliation, sanitary and ventilation problems, inadequate diet, clothing and medical care and other atrocities.
The 1907 Bryce Report stated, “24% of all the 40 people who attended one school were known to be dead” and at the File Hills reserve in Saskatchewan, 75% of the students had died in the first 16 years of school operation. 59% of all alumni, almost all women died from tuberculosis.
Given the “power and responsibility” these churches had, it naturally follows they had “accountability” for their actions. To the credit of the Anglican Church, they issued an apology to the survivors in 1993. The Pope acknowledged the sexual abuse by the hands of the clergy in Chile and the decade of sexual abuse by priests in Ireland but refused to apologize for the Churches Residential School “sick” maltreatment in Canada.
Unlike his father, I fear the existing “politically and whatever is currently socially correct, vote getting son,” will take total financial and emotional responsibility for the damages they inflicted on fellow Canadians, while the Anglican and especially the Catholic Churches will hide behind God and his “mysterious ways”.
I used to be proud of being a Canadian and refuse to be “tarred and feathered” by the innuendo of “Canadian Residential School.” Let’s call it by the true moniker, “Catholic and Anglican Run” Residential Schools. You can either stand up and be counted or be one of the “sheople. Let me hear your thoughts.
White and Red Lives Madder