24 June 2021
There cannot be an apology withoutaction. Words are not enough.
For approximately 150 years, over 150,000Indigenous children were sent to 139 residential schools across the country.They were removed from their families and their communities so they would be “assimilated.” The consequencesof this decision continueto negatively impact our Indigenous brothers and sisters to date.
Last month, May 2021, the Tk'emlúps teSecwépemc First Nation announced the discovery of unmarked burials sites of 215children's remains near former Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, B.C.
This month, June 2021, Cowessess FirstNation has announced the discovery of 751 unmarked graves near former MarievalIndian Residential School in Saskatchewan.
Let these tragic discoveriesserve as impetus to do better as a country. WE MUST DO BETTER.
Where do we start? It starts individuallywith each of us. We must:
Lets learn about our real history as acountry. Research and study about our Indigenous Peoples. It is our duty tolearn so we can better understand our Indigenous communities. We must activelywork towards ensuring this tragedy never happens again.
We can pay our respect to our Indigenousbrothers and sisters by celebrating them, especially during Canada Day. We muststand by them. Our beloved flag must be flownat half-mast.
We can support our Indigenous communitiesby providing them the tools and resources they need at work, at school. Theymust have equality of opportunity.
Our actions today will define what kindof Canada we will be tomorrow.
Canadian Hispanic BarAssociation.