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Author Topic: Canada is at a bit of a crossroad...  (Read 154 times)

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Offline Grand Master Lomandalis

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Canada is at a bit of a crossroad...
« on: July 1, 2021, 10:54:43 AM »
Today is a conflicting day, to say the least.

July 1st is the day that we celebrate the Confederation of Canada.  Normally this is a joy filled packed to the brim with barbeques, fireworks, and parties.

This year, Canadians are being forced to face the demons in our country's closet.  Because of two seemingly innocuous words, communities throughout the country are cancelling their Canada Day celebrations.  Two words that are a permanent stain on the country because of how evil it all was

Residential Schools.

If you're not familiar with that term, here's what it means.  Residential Schools were set up by the Catholic Church to eliminate the indigenous culture and indoctrinate Indigenous children into a European way of living.  On the face, it was a way of educating them; but once you look past the veneer, the attempted genocide is blatant.  We were trying to eliminate their culture entirely but targeting their children.  Hundreds of thousands of children went through this system after being ripped away from their families by the RCMP.  Literally... the Canadian federal police agency forced parents to relinquish their children.

These children were punished for speaking their native language, practicing their traditions, and not conforming to the ideals of European-centric society.  These children were beaten, sexually abused, and murdered.  Not "oh they died by accident, teehee," but murdered.  I've heard stories of kids having their skulls bashed in with a 2x4; babies, who were born as a product of the sexual abuse the children endured, were thrown into furnaces while they were still alive having just been born (because we know how the church feels about abortion).

This all sounds like some barbaric system from the 1800s, right?  No way that something so terrible happened in a modern, civilized society... right?  You would think so, if it weren't for the fact that the last Residential School closed in 1996.

Let me say that again...

The last residential school closed in beslubbering 1996.

This is not some distant piece of history, or long forgotten atrocity.  There are people alive today who experienced these horrors and survive that are my age or younger.

The reason I bring this up and the reason so many communities are cancelling Canada Day celebrations is because this topic has been thrust into the limelight for the most horrible reason.  They are finding bodies in quantities that are shocking.  The first major one that captured headlines was when they found 215 bodies of children buried in an unmarked grave.  You'd figure that was bad, but it wasn't long after that discovery that more bodies were found at a different school; this time numbering over 700.

I'm a proud Canadian.  I love my country.  I am proud to wear a uniform that has the maple leaf on it, and I could not imagine living anywhere else.  I want my daughter to grow up with the same mentality that I have.  That being said... this has shaken me to my core.  I still proudly wear my uniform, and I love my country.  What I am having a hard time saying is that I am proud of my country.  And I'm ok with that.  We, as Canadians, tend to put ourselves on a pedestal of being "one of the good guys" in the world; and that is something we have done well in some regards.  But we can no longer hide the blood on our hands, nor should we.

We will never be able to reunite the thousands of children who lost their lives in these schools.  We will never be able to heal the scars, both physical and mental, left on the indigenous community. 

We are Canada.  We can do better.  We should do better.
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Offline Sir_Godspeed

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Re: Canada is at a bit of a crossroad...
« Reply #1 on: July 1, 2021, 06:15:26 PM »
Yeah, I heard about this, and it's utterly shocking and revolting. It didn't entirely come as a surprise though, unfortunately.

I'm familar with loosely similar systems both from colonized nations, like Australia and the US, but we even had a system like this in Norway, where children of the ethnic minority Saami population (as well as Roma and Romani travellers) were effectively abducted from their parents and indoctrinated with majority-ethnic Norwegian language and culture. There are still people alive who still bear trauma from it. I am not aware of any mass graves yet, and admittedly the scale is smaller, but it's a difference of degree only.

It's important, I think, to examine our own personal co-identification with our country. If we instantly feel defensive when the flaws of our countries come to light, then we have succumbed to nationalist indoctrination, something that is a lot more widespread then we often allow ourselves to believe.

That's not to say that we can't love our country, or wish to serve it, but conflating our national communities with the acts of the state apparatus is a mistake.

I hope, at the very least, that the revelation of these atrocities will lead to a serious conversation on the processes of colonization and nation-building, and a wider awareness of the severity of it all.

Offline magenb

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Re: Canada is at a bit of a crossroad...
« Reply #2 on: July 1, 2021, 10:50:05 PM »
So a lot of people are pushing a political agenda so they purposefully confuse the situation. Its not just a problem for Canada either. EVERY country has had considerable demons in their past (some in the present), a national day is not a celebration of "look at all the evil crap we've done". It is meant to be a time to reflect on how far the country has come, you know look at all the evil stuff we have stopped doing and how much better every ones lives are for it... A time to appreciate how good we have it now and to look to the future on how as a country things may be improved. Do that and you'll have every reason to be happy.



Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: Canada is at a bit of a crossroad...
« Reply #3 on: July 2, 2021, 12:15:20 AM »
For many, this news is new to them. That this happened in many countries, yes, yet they were not personally aware of it either actively or passively. So it's a shock. It's in their/our face now. Otherwise, just beslubbering ignore it as you like a holiday?
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Offline Sir_Godspeed

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Re: Canada is at a bit of a crossroad...
« Reply #4 on: July 2, 2021, 09:35:11 AM »
So a lot of people are pushing a political agenda so they purposefully confuse the situation. Its not just a problem for Canada either. EVERY country has had considerable demons in their past (some in the present), a national day is not a celebration of "look at all the evil crap we've done". It is meant to be a time to reflect on how far the country has come, you know look at all the evil stuff we have stopped doing and how much better every ones lives are for it... A time to appreciate how good we have it now and to look to the future on how as a country things may be improved. Do that and you'll have every reason to be happy.

I think that's glossing over it too much. As mentioned in the OP, there are still people alive who've been victimized by the system. Those children were someone's relatives. Those victims were people, alive or dead.

There is a cause for reparations and acknowledgements to be made, and also an occasion to look at whether the past problems are causing current problems (spoiler: they are), and if so, an occasion to remedy them going forward.

Obviously some people would like us to not think too much about these things, just wave flags and eat supper with our family (or whatever other traditions a national day might hold) and go about our business. There are people who very much would like to label anyone bringing this issue to light, and using it to put forward actual, practical policy (restitution, legislation, etc.) as "troublemakers" or "debbie downers" or whatever. But it's only BECAUSE people have been adamant to be troublemakers and refuse to let go of problems that our countries even stopped doing these kinds of things to begin with.

 


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