From Facebook, with permission of the author, Theresa Hall.
Our ancestors practiced our way of life guided by their Spiritual teachings; love, honesty, respect, wisdom, humility etc. So when the European missionaries came and preached the Christian Teachings our ancestors accepted these teachings. Why? Our people thought the foreigners practiced what they were preaching. So it was easier to allow their children attend the residential schools believing their children were in capable hands and in a loving care.
But in fact it was totally opposite. First Nation Children in these schools were abused physically, spiritually, mentally and sexually. We the students were also made to feel inadequate by racial slurs (discrimination) directed to us during the years we spent at these institutions by the very people who preached the gospel to us. In fact these Christian teachings were contradictory as the missionaries' action did not conform to the Word of God as preached to us.
As a result Society is witnessing first hand the historical impact of these abuses. These historical abuses are also inter generational and that is the chaos/impacts that we are witnessing in our peoples lives and the lives of our youth today.
Another historical fact, the settler Governments signed Treaties with our Grandfathers promising benefits for our people. But the Treaties was a way to take the land from our Grandfathers/our people. The Government even relocated our people often to unfavourable lands for farming or away from economic base as our people have not benefited from the wealth of our natural resources as compared to none First Nations. And the evidence facing the Nation 'the poverty of our people' such as Attawapiskat as well as other First Nation communities/reserves.
To heal these historical impacts/abuses will take enormous resources for years to come. And moving/relocation is not the answer. The answers are in the 94 recommendations by Truth and Reconciliation as prepared by the TRC report. But it will take huge financial resources to implement them.
Another action that is contradictory, when the Governments is not releasing or surpressing evidence as obtained my O.P.P. Investigations. True Reconciliation will not come to pass as keeping evidence from the Nation is contrary to what Government is promoting when they say, ' we are in a new relationship with First Nation'.
Not true in my opinion. I am a survivor/warrior of 2 Residential Schools, St. Anne of Fort Albany and Fort George, Quebec. In fact I am a first hand witness what transpired in those schools. In other words I suffered and witnessed the abuses.
Can one heal and come to terms with the past abuses? Yes. But it is a life long journey but worth it. However Society needs to stand with us.