T Nation

Some Wounds Never Heal

Canada has a dark history when it comes to the natives of this country. Probably still the most racially discriminated people in Canada. With out doubt the most brutalize people in Canadian history. There is an old wound that just will not heal. It is the history of the Canadian residential schools.

These schools were, I personally believe, the attempt of the catholic church and the government to genocide the native Indian culture. The schools themselves were built in isolated places, far from any populated area, especially native populated areas.

The children were sent there by the government and de-educated or brain washed by the church. Their hair was cut off. They had to wear uniforms and were forbidden to speak their language or practice their customs. The isolation of the schools prevented the parents of the children from visiting. Since it would take all day to get there and then there was no where for them to stay.

The children were for the most part brutalized and sexually assaulted. Corparal punishment ruled the day, all childern had to work in various areas of the school and farm.

The reason for this thread is that the wound is open again with the discovery of more unmarked graves on the residential school properties. As usual the churches are unwilling or unable to come clean on these matters. Although strides are being taken to compensate the ill treatment of the native population. The wound keeps getting infected with new discoveries.

It is so amazing or not that we stick our faces in the affairs of other countries. While refusing to except responsibility for the atrocities that have taken place in our own back yards.

So exactly how important is it for a nation to heal it’s own wounds before attending the wounds of other countries. Maybe it’s just easier or less pain full to help others than except the fact that we are all, in a historical perspective, responsible for the atrocities of others. I don’t believe there is any country that does not have a dark history.

So is it the responsibility of the now generations to make amends for our ancestors. Or as some say, it’s not our problem so why should we pay. Personally I think we need to heal our nations so the generations to follow will be able to grow stronger as a whole nation.

How would you go about “making amends”.

Financial compensation?
Public apology?

Wow, Canadians brutalized their natives too?

Goddamned copycats.

In all seriousness, some wounds are too deep to ever heal right. That is some fucked up shit though.

Nothing will ever heal if it’s constantly focused upon - and particularly not if it’s focused upon in an “us and them” mentality. Just look at the history of the Middle East or Eastern Europe. The tribalistic mentalities over there preclude ever solving the issues, save by removing one of the groups.

It’s like picking a scab versus leaving it alone. Someone is going to say that many wounds are too deep and need treatment - fine, pick a treatment, apply it, and then let it heal. It doesn’t help to constantly focus upon past injuries.

Speaking of unhealed wounds, was anyone aware that the Lokota Sioux have (rightfully) unilaterally withdrawn from all treaties with the US an declared themselves an independent nation as of December 28, 2007?

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Nothing will ever heal if it’s constantly focused upon - and particularly not if it’s focused upon in an “us and them” mentality. Just look at the history of the Middle East or Eastern Europe. The tribalistic mentalities over there preclude ever solving the issues, save by removing one of the groups.

It’s like picking a scab versus leaving it alone. Someone is going to say that many wounds are too deep and need treatment - fine, pick a treatment, apply it, and then let it heal. It doesn’t help to constantly focus upon past injuries.[/quote]

Did you read the OP’s post? He’s not picking a scab. He’s just saying that a new site with dead bodies was found.

Nobody’s picking anything or constantly focusing upon anything. It’s just the proverbial skeletons showing up out of the closet on their own.

[quote]lixy wrote:

Did you read the OP’s post? He’s not picking a scab. He’s just saying that a new site with dead bodies was found.

Nobody’s picking anything or constantly focusing upon anything. It’s just the proverbial skeletons showing up out of the closet on their own.[/quote]

I did - and I want to understand how this issue will be treated, and not just talked about endlessly. Is there a cure? BTW, how long ago were the government/schools engaging in the above?

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
lixy wrote:

Did you read the OP’s post? He’s not picking a scab. He’s just saying that a new site with dead bodies was found.

Nobody’s picking anything or constantly focusing upon anything. It’s just the proverbial skeletons showing up out of the closet on their own.

I did - and I want to understand how this issue will be treated, and not just talked about endlessly. Is there a cure? BTW, how long ago were the government/schools engaging in the above?[/quote]

I have a couple friends that were in the schools. The last one was close in 1990. I can say, second hand, that the public still has know idea exactly how bad it was. I have heard the horror stories and it shames me to think others and do such things to children.

I honestly don’t know how you heal wounds like that. We have several generations of messed up people. After all this is not something out of the past. With the lack of records and the shame of admitting such abuses many will never heal and many will go unpunished for their hateful acts of racism.

Ah, my initial reaction was a bit hasty then - I assumed this was something out of the far past. What exactly was the government’s role in this?

[quote]streamline wrote:
We have several generations of messed up people.
[/quote]

Today’s genration of natives are messed up because we give them hand out after hand out, which goes to THEIR cheifs, who hand out the money to their buddies while the rest go with out, so they are the ones fucking themselves. They complain about the white man ruining the land yet they are the ones who hunt and fish during off season, which they turn around and SELL. They bitch about land that isn’t theirs, and get away with stuff that any other ethnic group would not, (blocking the 401 for instance).

What really needs to be done is to aboloish reserves, and abolish their special rights and handouts. This way they will be forced to get jobs and this might instil some character into them so that future generations can stand on their own feet without goverment welfare. Proof of this can be seen by looking at a native who chooses to live off the reserve, their attitutde is totally different. Worrying about the past isn’t going to change anything, and money certainly isn’t going to change it either. Natives would help themselves alot if they were actually productive members of society (as a whole group) and stop clammoring for money and land, perhaps then the rest of Canada would not hold resentment towards them and might actually care that a burial ground was found and show some sympthay overt the issue.

Now before you tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about I grew up 5 mins from a reserve, went to a school with a 30% native pop, and spent lots of time on the reserve.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Ah, my initial reaction was a bit hasty then - I assumed this was something out of the far past. What exactly was the government’s role in this?[/quote]

The role of the government was basically to give permission to the churches to carry out their ethnic cleansing. Maybe it is more to the point of what didn’t they do. One would be to follow up and inspect. That is under the bridge now and may not have helped anyways.

[quote]Joe84 wrote:
streamline wrote:
We have several generations of messed up people.

Today’s genration of natives are messed up because we give them hand out after hand out, which goes to THEIR cheifs, who hand out the money to their buddies while the rest go with out, so they are the ones fucking themselves. They complain about the white man ruining the land yet they are the ones who hunt and fish during off season, which they turn around and SELL. They bitch about land that isn’t theirs, and get away with stuff that any other ethnic group would not, (blocking the 401 for instance).

What really needs to be done is to aboloish reserves, and abolish their special rights and handouts. This way they will be forced to get jobs and this might instil some character into them so that future generations can stand on their own feet without goverment welfare. Proof of this can be seen by looking at a native who chooses to live off the reserve, their attitutde is totally different. Worrying about the past isn’t going to change anything, and money certainly isn’t going to change it either. Natives would help themselves alot if they were actually productive members of society (as a whole group) and stop clammoring for money and land, perhaps then the rest of Canada would not hold resentment towards them and might actually care that a burial ground was found and show some sympthay overt the issue.

Now before you tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about I grew up 5 mins from a reserve, went to a school with a 30% native pop, and spent lots of time on the reserve.
[/quote]

You seem to have a pretty good handle on the situation. I’m not sure I totally agree but yes we screwed them up for the most part by excluding them from society. The idea of reservations was a very poorly thought out idea, and who can really say why they did it.

I would have to disagree with you on the land issue. First they do not own the reservation land. It is owned by Indian affairs and regulated by them. The natives can not mine, log, farm or establish a business on the land without the approval of Indian affairs.

Another point is that most of the money meant for the native Indians stayed in the beaurocarcy of Indian affairs. The actions of the government was created racism with the natives. You for one know first hand the difficulty they have over coming the stereo type they have been labeled with.

Know matter how you put it our governments miss handling of this situation has created more problems than it has solved. My point is that we tend to look in the backyards of others while our own could use some tending. Know matter how’s to blame, the problem exists and is not going to just vanish into space.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Ah, my initial reaction was a bit hasty then - I assumed this was something out of the far past. What exactly was the government’s role in this?[/quote]

I think that’s the whole point. Most Canadians think this happened in some distant past. There are people and organizations working on findings ways to allow them, as a culture, to heal themselves. Many believe that the paternalistic attitude with which “the native problem” has been approached has made a terrible situation even worse.