Justice Murray Sinclair’s speech was both shuttering and inspirational this evening. He really shone light on the fact that we need to take this reconciliation with Aboriginal peoples in a different direction in order to make some hedge way on the issue and “mend some fences” (both literally for the cemetery here in Regina and figuratively). Like Justice Murray stated, we may not be able to forgive for the past but we can most definitely move forward in a better direction.
Justice’s speech really opened my eyes to just how unaware and unknowledgeable I am about this topic. I had never heard of the cemetery and burial site in Regina that was discussed so I did some further research and have linked some sites further describing the cemetery and the plans for it.
I really appreciated Justice Murray’s mention of the foster care system and was able to ponder on it and dig deeper on this aspect. I believe, obviously, that the foster care system is a much-needed association to have in place. I believe that there are so many generous and kind people out there that are able to and great for providing for children in need of this program. That being said, I also believe that there are many people out there that have offered their services for the wrong reasons, abuse the system, and don’t always have the children’s best interest at heart. To further describe what I am meaning by this comment, simply read the novel April Raintree to give you a better mental image of this ordeal. This system could clearly use some work and some closer monitoring.
I really liked Justice’s statement about how the residential school system was a “child welfare system, not an education system”. The aim of these schools was not to educate these children just as public schools did, but to rather completely change them and force them to function as a “normal” member of society. To completely let go and abandon their own ways.
Another comment that really stuck with me was “ perpetrators are incapable of saving them”. How can someone forgive and trust the people that put them in a horrible position in the first place? Due to that reality, we are going to have to be really creative in the way that we acknowledge and improve these issues. Reconciliation must occur, but how? Can we really recover from what has been done? It was cultural genocide after all.