Asking you all to do better

Dear Editor,
Recently, several newspapers have had articles regarding the residential schools. Besides the fact the churches and governments have admitted genocide and their responsibilities, there has been a report by the TRC that our governments have stated, all Canadians need to read and answer the Calls To Action, therein.

Instead, we constantly see denial by citizenry, often backed by unsupported nonsense in publications based upon, absolute ignorance, in my opinion, such as the book “Grave Errors” by authors C.P.Champion and Tom Flanagan.

One, recent such letter suggested this book is an “eloquent, unemotional, factual narrative”

Let’s examine some, actual facts shall we?

First, the statement that there have been no identifiable remains found in any of those residential school graveyards, anywhere in Canada is misleading and absolutely incorrect.

The searches for graves is for ‘unmarked burial sites’, outside the graveyards, known to contain the remains of children who attended the residential schools and are recorded.

They are not in question and never have been.

It’s the burial sites, outside those known graveyards that are being located and to recover the children will take time and respect, for all the Nations whose children are recovered, eventually, after proper protocols of each, respective First Nation are honoured.

Second, though it is true the ground penetrating radar (GPR) cannot identify human remains, it is important to understand the “soil disturbances” in question are shaped like rectangular, grave sized disturbances and any not matching these parameters is not recorded as a possible site.

Third, though many Metis families wanted a European education for their children, being from European mixed families, the same was not true of First Nation communities!  First Nation children were forcibly removed from their families and communities.

There is one site in Saskatchewan that was found due to a farmer finding a childs’ jawbone.  If people really need “physical evidence of these graves!

I think it is important for a white settler, such as I am to point out these facts when it is we, settlers and our colonial systems of oppression that have, continually lied until we get caught, then we do this utterly ignorant dance of denial, continuing the lies, even after caught.

I think it is more that our government wants every, single Canadian to own their responsibility in our country and it’s history, as indicated by the acceptance of the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions Final Report and the Calls To Action contained in it.

As a last point, it is very telling when white people think we can tell Indigenous People what, really constitutes reconciliation, instead of accepting and answer the Calls To Action in the TRC.

This settler asks that you all do better!

Morgan D. Burchell
Castor, Alta.

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