In late May 2021, every Canadian woke up to news that the remains of 215 Indigenous children were found on the grounds of a former Indian Residential School in Kamloops, B.C. Hearts are breaking across the country. We are horrified and yet, the discovery of these 215 little souls is proving to be only the beginning. The numbers continue to climb…….
What can we do?
We can take this time to be respectful and to mourn alongside our Indigenous brothers and sisters.
We can take this opportunity to learn and seek to understand.
Please take the time to learn just what is meant by the Doctrine of Discovery.
Pope Francis receives a gift from an Indigenous leader during a meeting with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities at Maskwacis, Alberta, July 25, 2022. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
After meetings between Pope Francis and Indigenous leaders, much debate and discussion surrounded the Doctrine of Discovery.
In March 2023, Pope Francis issued a statement, rescinding the document.
“The Catholic Church therefore repudiates those concepts that fail to recognize the inherent human rights of indigenous peoples, including what has become known as the legal and political ‘doctrine of discovery’.”
World Water Day March 22nd, 2023
There is an ancient story from the Quechua people of Peru, of a hummingbird and the story is meant to show us how we react in a crisis. Right now, our world faces a water and sanitation crisis. Do we stand and stare or do we act?
‘One day in the forest, a fire broke out.
All the animals ran for their lives.
They stood at the edge of the blaze, looking at the flames in terror and sadness.
Up above their heads, a hummingbird was flying back and forth to the fire, over and over again.
The bigger animals asked the hummingbird what she was doing.
“I am flying to the lake to get water to help put out the fire.”
The animals laughed at her and said, “You can’t put out this fire!”
The hummingbird replied, “I’m doing what I can.”’
The hummingbird is helping solve the problem, one drop at a time. She is being the change she wants to see in the world. Remember, we can all be like the hummingbird. The actions we take, no matter how small, will help solve the water crisis.
July 24th, 2022
April 1st, 2022
“For the deplorable conduct of these members of the Catholic Church, I ask for God’s forgiveness and I want to say to you with all my heart, I am very sorry. And I join my brothers, the Canadian bishops, in asking your pardon.”
Did you know?
The Canadian Government recognizes three distinct groups of Indigenous Peoples:
First Nations, comprising more than 630 communities, representing more than 50 nations and 50 Indigenous languages
Inuit, the Indigenous persons of the Arctic
Métis, Peoples of mixed Indigenous and European (primarily French) heritage
Did you know?
September 30th is Orange Shirt Day, a day set aside to honour indigenous children who were sent away to residential schools. The end of September falls within the time of year when the children would have been taken.
Did you know?
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was active in Canada from 2008 to 2015 for the purpose of documenting the history and lasting impacts of the Indian Residential School system on children and their families – a chance for residential school survivors to tell their stories.
In June 2015, the Commission released a summary of its findings and included 94 ‘calls to action’, that is, they identified 94 changes believed to be needed in order to begin the process of reconciliation between Canadians and Indigenous Peoples.
Based on their final report, in 2019, the Commission released a 5-part film, produced in Halifax, and called, ‘They Came for the Children’.
And for any parent trying to explain the Truth and Reconciliation Report to their children, a NB-based group, Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn (a non-profit organization whose members are the nine Mi’gmaq communities in New Brunswick) has produced a child-friendly version of the 94 Calls to Action.
We thank the Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn for their hard work in doing this for the children – planning for the future, while honouring the past.
Did you know?
CBC New Brunswick has started a series called, ‘The Elders‘, stories about Indigenous historians, knowledge keepers and educators.
This is a five-part weekly series that will feature Elders from Mi’kmaw, Wolastoqi and Passamaquoddy communities sharing their stories. Very interesting!
Please, take a few minutes and get to know some of the most honoured members of our
New Brunswick First Nations communities.
‘Turning anger into something good‘, a 12-year old Indigenous boy, Landyn Toney, walked almost 200 km in honour of residential school survivors, all while raising awareness for Indigenous peoples everywhere.
Landyn began his journey on Canada Day in Bible Hill, N.S., not far from where the Shubenacadie Residential School once stood.
His goal was to walk all the way to his home at Annapolis Valley First Nation – symbolic, as not all First Nations children made it home from residential schools. “All I think to push myself to go, is I think of the kids from the residential schools,” says Landyn. “They weren’t allowed to take breaks, and they had to run way further than we are right now.”