Wednesday, June 11, 2008


"We are sorry."

Read it here.

The entire text of the apology can be found here. Walking church, it does mention the Metis language and cultural practices. It's a start.


Walking Church said...

The Metis were also wronged...we will see...

nadine said...

I've updated the entry. He did mention the Metis.

Not that an apology will change everything. But it's far better than continuing on without one.

michael lewis said...

I was unable to watch it live, but I did catch the highlights. I was quite impressed with Dion and Layton (usually I am not). I especially appreciated the responsibility Dion admitted to, on behalf of the Liberal Party, as it was the government for most of the past century. Layton had emotion!

But what does this mean for us today? Both First Nations and otherwise?

Don't be ignorant: there are still residential schools, but no longer are they run by the church to assimilate; they are more like boarding schools, but public. There are so many remote communities and reserves which just cannot support or sustain secondary education, so there are residential schools.

Nadine: did you ever go to Burnt Church with Barnabas? I can't remember if you did or not.

nadine said...

I did indeed. Twice. The summers I turned 16 and 17.

michael lewis said...

It was my two summer trips to Burnt Church which led me to working two full school years (college school years) on James Smith Reserve, near Melfort SK. I also hosted a youth group from Arviat NT (the male contingent) in my dorm room for the college's annual outreach weekend. Imagine travelling by plane (or even ski-doo!) to Churchill, then by train to Thompson, then by bus to Nipawin!

Even after moving to Lethbridge, I branched out and did some volunteer work with an inner-city church which ran "Funday School" (on Saturday morning) in an old pool hall sandwiched between two "Indian bars". That's when I started to meet refugees from Sudan, Ethiopia, Iran, and Afghanistan. Try helping a kid with math homework in English, when she only speaks Farsi, and she has no clue how to count in her own language!

All of this is to say, that the vision of a few people so many years ago to reach out to broken and hurting people, which eventually culminated in nearly two decades of those crazy summer road trips to Burnt Church, had an effect on me.

Whether Mi'kmaq, Cree, Innu, Blackfoot, or any other First Nations, yesterday was symbolic; hopefully the beginning of healing broken relationships.