Wednesday, June 11, 2008


She's waited 97 years for this:
"Marguerite Wabano, 104, is known as Granny Wabano to everyone in Moosonee, Ont. On Wednesday, she and five other residential school survivors will be seated on the floor of the House of Commons to hear Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologize on behalf of all Canadians.

It will be a historic and personal moment for Ms. Wabano and tens of thousands other indigenous people who were taken from their families and sent to church-run boarding schools where they were forbidden to speak their own languages. Many were sexually and physically abused.

Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl said that if the opposition parties agree, the House of Commons will set aside all other business on Wednesday for the formal apology for Canada's Indian residential schools policy, which will start at 3 p.m. Church and native leaders are urging Canadians across the country to stop in their tracks on Wednesday afternoon and turn on the nearest TV."

I will definitely be turning on my TV to watch this historic moment.

In spite of what some may errantly insist, this is not an issue that has nothing to do with the current government -- it has everything to do with all Canadians, past and present. We are all complicit -- the residential school atrocities that were committed were committed in our name, as Canadians, by the governments we elected and the religious institutions we supported. Admitting it is the first step toward making things right.

UPDATE: The point of culpability, articulated more profoundly than I ever could, by Dave at TGB.

UPPERDATE: More reaction, this time from balbulican at stageleft.