Canada Mixed emotions from B.C. chiefs after Trudeau’s ‘crucial’ visit to Kamloops
1980s book on residential school experiences was rejected by first publisher who didn't believe it
Celia Haig-Brown's book Resistance and Renewal: Surviving the Indian Residential School was one of the first texts to describe the experiences of residential school survivors from their perspectives.It was published in 1988. Since then, many more books have been published by Indigenous writers, academics and survivors detailing those experiences. News outlets have written hundreds of stories. And the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was created, releasing reports and sharing survivors' experiences.
Warning: This story deals with disturbing subject matter that may upset and trigger some readers. Discretion is advised.
First Nations chiefs in B.C. were left with a range of emotions after whatKukpi7 Rosanne Casimir called a "crucial" visit from the prime minister to her community.
Justin Trudeau visited the First Nation inon Monday, after skipping its healing ceremonies on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation for a in Tofino, B.C.
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He apologized repeatedly for that mistake, and vowed that Ottawa is truly "ready to partner" on reconciliation.
"I'm a true believer that actions speak louder than words, and today there was action," said Kukpi7 Casimir, noting that Trudeau flew down on his son's birthday.
"I did accept his apology and for me it's about our survivors, it's about all of us who've been impacted."
Kukpi7 Casimir said she's filled with hope after the prime minister's visit because she believes in the "good of people," and needs to believe "we are truly making a difference for our children and for future generations."
Others were less encouraged.
Trudeau to visit Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc Nation in Kamloops, B.C.
KAMLOOPS, B.C. — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to visit Kamloops, B.C., today, where the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc Nation announced it had found what are believed to be some 200 unmarked graves at the site of a former residential school last spring. Since May, numerous Indigenous nations have reported finding unmarked graves at former residential schools with the same ground-penetrating radar technology used in Kamloops, prompting calls for justice that have resonated across the world.
Trudeau was questioned repeatedly by Indigenous rights-holders and journalists on Monday about his government's efforts to challenge aordering Ottawa to compensate Indigenous children removed from their homes by child and family services.
The tribunal found the federal government had "willfully" and "recklessly" discriminated against Indigenous children by underfunding those services on reserves.
Chiefs called on the prime minister to "stop fighting our kids in court," to which Trudeau responded, "there is no question there will be compensation for people who suffered at the hands of child and family services."
The government has appealed the decision because it's concerned about the "implications," he added, and wants to create systems and policy that ensure children are not removed from their communities and culture again -- eliminating the need for future compensation.
Mixed emotions from B.C. chiefs after Trudeau’s ‘crucial’ visit to Kamloops
Some were angered and others were filled with hope as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc in Kamloops, B.C. on Monday.First Nations chiefs in B.C. were left with a range of emotions after what Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir called a "crucial" visit from the prime minister to her community.
Shuswap National Tribal Council Chair Kukpi7 Wayne Christian said his honest impression of Trudeau's visit "is one of frustration and anger."
"Canada continues to proceed down that road," he explained.
"They need to take a legal strategy on reconciliation, specifically for the children. Stop fighting our kids in court, stop continuing to steal our land through the process they've set out. Stop taking our resources."
Terry Teegee, Regional Chief for the Assembly of First Nations, agreed that the government needs to remove itself from a wide range of court actions across the country.
"I'm glad everybody on the Internet and survivors here witnessed what Prime Minister Trudeau said today," he said. "We're going to hold him to his words."
Trudeau excels at "politics," "theatrics" and "empty promises," added Teegee, who also counts himself among those waiting for "action."
‘We all stood together’: Gitanmaax Band stops B.C. social worker from seizing youth
The Gitanmaax Band in northern B.C. is reclaiming control of child welfare from the province, blocking a social worker from removing a six-year-old girl on Sunday night.On Sunday night, allies joined the band's hereditary chiefs in blocking road access as a social worker entered the Hazelton, B.C. reserve to take a six-year-old girl back into foster care.
National Assembly of First Nations Chief RoseAnne Archibald said it's "about reparations now," and the Indigenous community expects nothing less moving forward.
In return, she said the federal government can expect collaboration and partnership "with kindness and love."
As it stands, Trudeau said his government has completed or is working on 80 per cent of the T94 'Calls to Action,' although many Indigenous advocates keeping score disagree.
The federal government, Trudeau added, has turned over all documents in its possession related to residential schools, including the Kamloops Indian Residential School.
Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc confirmed Monday that some documents have been shared, but could not comment further.
The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) is available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience.
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