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Remains found at Kamloops residential school 'not an isolated incident,' Indigenous experts and leaders warn

Remius

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I read/watch things across a reasonably-wide spectrum, generally not bothering with the looney-extreme fringes but occasionally going for a dip just to maintain some awareness of what's lurking out there. I came across that one on Bourque Newswatch. He leans left, but drags up some interesting articles that I might otherwise miss at times and has some good links pages. He no longer refreshes articles as frequently as he did a few years ago.



I rather thought so as well. It could have been worse.



"Traitors"?

As in Confederate Generals?

The US states have more autonomy than our provinces, so there was a contest of loyalty for many when the US Civil War broke out. To which does one owes one's primary loyalty - one's state, or the union of states, which had become broken? Americans do not swear an oath to a king or queen or any other individual, but a flag and a constitution. I've not attempted to determine if states had/have a right to secede from a union which they had freely and voluntarily joined, but believe that they should, similar to Britain joining and leaving the EU.

Those were hard personal decisions to make, and I envy none who had to make them, or fight against friends and former colleagues on the other side, or even family members in some cases.

But there was a conscious decision made, once it was over, re-unify and reconcile and rebuild, including accepting personnel back into the Union Army without sanction for simply fighting on the losing side.

I see nothing wrong with statues honouring men who fought valiantly and ethically and did their duty well as they saw fit, and I do not agree with removing them - especially by mob.

And I do not agree with applying today's standards to people from centuries past.



The "new way of life" was not completely, if at all, imposed by him, but by others over whom he had no control - like those who almost completely wiped out the buffalo.



Yes, it was.

And most of the past is a complete mess.

I am still awaiting restitution and apologies from the Normans who invaded my ancestral lands and raped, pillaged, and plundered my ancestors, and the Danes who invaded my ancestral lands and raped, pillaged, and plundered my ancestors before them, and the Romans who invaded my ancestral lands and raped, pillaged, and plundered my ancestors before them, and the Celts who invaded my ancestral lands and raped, pillaged, and plundered my ancestors before them, and the . . .

But I would, almost guaranteed, have to make reparations and give grovelling apologies to each contingent as well, as various ancestors were raping, pillaging, and plundering other ancestors in turn - most probably all of the way from Africa and through the middle east and Europe and Scandinavia to the green and sceptered isle.
I think there is place for a lot of those statues but many of them, especially the the pro slavery ones, were placed during the Jim Crow era with a different purpose in mind. Gettysburg is a great example of monuments done right. Or communities that may have given their sons to the fight. But even some states that weren’t even confederate states put some up.


But I guess that is another discussion. Sorry to derail.

Unfortunately the restitution arguments for bygone eras don’t hold much water. The legal entities responsible for more recent events like residential schools are still around as has been pointed out.
 

The Bread Guy

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.... The US states have more autonomy than our provinces, so there was a contest of loyalty for many when the US Civil War broke out. To which does one owes one's primary loyalty - one's state, or the union of states, which had become broken? ... Those were hard personal decisions to make, and I envy none who had to make them, or fight against friends and former colleagues on the other side, or even family members in some cases ... I see nothing wrong with statues honouring men who fought valiantly and ethically and did their duty well as they saw fit, and I do not agree with removing them - especially by mob ...
The only problem with using the "individuals had tough choices to make & did their best" argument is that throughout history, that's always been true, in causes both just and unjust - including individual clergy in the residential schools. I'll bet you could find Soviets who truly felt they were doing the right thing "helping" the Poles, Ukrainians, Latvians, Lithuanians & Estonians during WW2. That said, once Past Management left the old Warsaw Pact countries, can you blame them for not wanting to see statues of people who brought on what they did, regardless of their intentions? I don't hear/read/see a lot of people calling on folks living in former Soviet republics to stop being whiners, get on with life, and keep Soviet statues/landmarks up as long as there's a fuller explanation of the history behind them. Well, outside of Russian leaders & commentators, anyway.
... I am still awaiting restitution and apologies from the Normans who invaded my ancestral lands and raped, pillaged, and plundered my ancestors, and the Danes who invaded my ancestral lands and raped, pillaged, and plundered my ancestors before them, and the Romans who invaded my ancestral lands and raped, pillaged, and plundered my ancestors before them, and the Celts who invaded my ancestral lands and raped, pillaged, and plundered my ancestors before them, and the . . .

But I would, almost guaranteed, have to make reparations and give grovelling apologies to each contingent as well, as various ancestors were raping, pillaging, and plundering other ancestors in turn - most probably all of the way from Africa and through the middle east and Europe and Scandinavia to the green and sceptered isle.
Where does it stop/end? $64,000 question (no compensation pun intended). But I like to think we want to do better, not "only just better".
 

Kilted

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It doesn't end. Not till both sides get rid of the us vs them mentality. As long as a good number of natives are segregated from society there will always be a divide that will bring up old memories. A hundred years from now we will probably still be having the same conversation.
 

YZT580

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It doesn't end. Not till both sides get rid of the us vs them mentality. As long as a good number of natives are segregated from society there will always be a divide that will bring up old memories. A hundred years from now we will probably still be having the same conversation.
And as long as the Indian Act is allowed to exist in whatever form it has now there is going to be segregation. Changing a name or removing a statue will accomplish squat. As any person who has suffered through a divorce caused by infidelity or just plain abandonment they never stopped hurting until they were able to put the offense behind them, quit playing the blame game and start liking themselves again. And that is really hard to do. They can't wait until government, church or whatever makes things right: they neither can nor will at least not to the grieved person's satisfaction. No restitution can compensate for a lost child or a lost childhood and there are no words that are adequate. It has to be the grieved person who lets go. The publicity certainly doesn't help. It is like tearing the scab off a recent wound: you get to experience the pain and bleeding all over again and to what purpose? Everyone knew the bodies were there. In a number of locations the graves are marked by tombstones or at least were until they caved in or rotted. What they need more than anything is self-respect and that won't happen until there are decent jobs, decent accommodation, decent connections with the rest of the world and leadership that actually takes responsibility oh and clean water that doesn't need boiling.
 

OldSolduer

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And as long as the Indian Act is allowed to exist in whatever form it has now there is going to be segregation. Changing a name or removing a statue will accomplish squat. As any person who has suffered through a divorce caused by infidelity or just plain abandonment they never stopped hurting until they were able to put the offense behind them, quit playing the blame game and start liking themselves again. And that is really hard to do. They can't wait until government, church or whatever makes things right: they neither can nor will at least not to the grieved person's satisfaction. No restitution can compensate for a lost child or a lost childhood and there are no words that are adequate. It has to be the grieved person who lets go. The publicity certainly doesn't help. It is like tearing the scab off a recent wound: you get to experience the pain and bleeding all over again and to what purpose? Everyone knew the bodies were there. In a number of locations the graves are marked by tombstones or at least were until they caved in or rotted. What they need more than anything is self-respect and that won't happen until there are decent jobs, decent accommodation, decent connections with the rest of the world and leadership that actually takes responsibility oh and clean water that doesn't need boiling.
OMG you are so right.
 

Loachman

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I would say the same thing, but I'm descended from all of them.

That was my point. So am I.

It is important to remember and understand history, but history should not hinder our present and our future.

Centuries of denominational violence, between people who worship the same God and Messiah, in Northern Ireland, and the violent break-up of Yugoslavia are two prime examples. "Your great-great-grandfather killed my great-great-grandfather so I'm going to kill you in revenge" solves nothing, and destroys both sides' chances of peace and prosperity.

"What have the Romans ever done for us?"

I doubt that many First Nations people today would want to give up any of the benefits that resulted from British, French, and other European migration.

I have yet to see any real solutions or proposals for true reconciliation, as there is too much polarization and also too many factions here - and too much money involved.

We are a marvellous species, but we also suck.
 

Loachman

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Speaking of interbreeding, that's a big topic in some bands with the "Half-breeds" starting to outnumber the "True bloods" and some high caste families trying to maintain that true blood by marrying only other full-blooded Indians. The good news is that the half-breeds don't have a fantasy of what life was like and are generally faster to adapt to the world around them.

No matter how much we may look alike, there is always somebody who wants to exploit the slightest difference to divide people for his or her own gain - be it power, prestige, money, or just a petty feeling of superiority over a "lesser" individual.
 

OldSolduer

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Speaking of interbreeding, that's a big topic in some bands with the "Half-breeds" starting to outnumber the "True bloods" and some high caste families trying to maintain that true blood by marrying only other full-blooded Indians. The good news is that the half-breeds don't have a fantasy of what life was like and are generally faster to adapt to the world around them.
And that is exactly what the Egyptian Ptolemic dynasty did except that dynasty was not Egyptian - it was Greek and Ptolemy got Egypt when Alex The Great's empire broke up. That dynasty had brothers and sisters marry in belief that the blood line would remain pure....

Other royal families have done the same - marrying first cousins etc until you end up with a genetic mutation that makes Forrest Gump look like a genius.
 

Loachman

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The only problem with using the "individuals had tough choices to make & did their best" argument is that throughout history, that's always been true, in causes both just and unjust.

What was a young German, for example, reasonably expected to do when conscripted between 1939 and 1945? What about a professional Officer, already serving? Many did not accept Nazism, but only a small few dared to actively resist/revolt against it.

I have nothing against statues honouring commanders, units, or soldiers of losing sides as long as they fought honourably and ethically.

A statue of a slave-owner whipping one of his victims, however, would be completely different, as would a statue of a war criminal.

A statue of Sir John causes me no offence - we all, today, benefit from his accomplishments (although, if he'd failed, we would have the benefit of the US Second Amendment). A statue of a priest or nun beating a child victim most definitely would.
 

The Bread Guy

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... I have nothing against statues honouring commanders, units, or soldiers of losing sides as long as they fought honourably and ethically.

A statue of a slave-owner whipping one of his victims, however, would be completely different, as would a statue of a war criminal ...
Good distinction.

The trouble comes when people start measuring the honour and ethics of individuals and the causes they backed, which brings up the "can we judge by today's standards or do we look for an absolute?"
 

Remius

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Good distinction.

The trouble comes when people start measuring the honour and ethics of individuals and the causes they backed, which brings up the "can we judge by today's standards or do we look for an absolute?"
I think that the Jim Crow era can easily be judged by our standards. By the early 1800s slavery was not seen in a good light by most of the world. By 1865 it was stopped by force in the US. 50 years after that, pro slavery segregationists were still at it by erecting specific statues as symbols of OPPRESSION, not as a way of honouring war heroes.

It is telling that a few key Confederate Generals do not have statues erected in public spaces by the Jim Crow era folks. Longstreet is a prime example. The man was a rabid anti slavery activist after the war. He’s arguably one of the better generals the confederates had. But he barely has any monuments anywhere to his names. Certainly not in the 31 states that raised those statues. (Only 11 states formed the confederacy yet 31 states have had statues erected mostly during Jim Crow times).

So while some people will use the excuse that “we can’t judge by today’s standards”. To an extent. But even using the standards of the day we can certainly judge. Should we judge a civil war general that made a difficult choice back in the day? Maybe not. But we can can certainly judge people who 50 years later used that general as a symbol of oppression. That’s what we are talking about. And we can certainly judge people today on how they can reconcile with the warts of the past.

I shudder to think that a hundred years from now some forum will be arguing that we can’t judge the nazi regime by the standards of that time.
 

YZT580

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I think that the Jim Crow era can easily be judged by our standards. By the early 1800s slavery was not seen in a good light by most of the world. By 1865 it was stopped by force in the US. 50 years after that, pro slavery segregationists were still at it by erecting specific statues as symbols of OPPRESSION, not as a way of honouring war heroes.

It is telling that a few key Confederate Generals do not have statues erected in public spaces by the Jim Crow era folks. Longstreet is a prime example. The man was a rabid anti slavery activist after the war. He’s arguably one of the better generals the confederates had. But he barely has any monuments anywhere to his names. Certainly not in the 31 states that raised those statues. (Only 11 states formed the confederacy yet 31 states have had statues erected mostly during Jim Crow times).

So while some people will use the excuse that “we can’t judge by today’s standards”. To an extent. But even using the standards of the day we can certainly judge. Should we judge a civil war general that made a difficult choice back in the day? Maybe not. But we can can certainly judge people who 50 years later used that general as a symbol of oppression. That’s what we are talking about. And we can certainly judge people today on how they can reconcile with the warts of the past.

I shudder to think that a hundred years from now some forum will be arguing that we can’t judge the nazi regime by the standards of that time.
But first of all you must establish the norm before you start to judge whether people were cruel, abusive or whatever and this is lacking in most of these cases.
 

The Bread Guy

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.... It is telling that a few key Confederate Generals do not have statues erected in public spaces by the Jim Crow era folks. Longstreet is a prime example. The man was a rabid anti slavery activist after the war. He’s arguably one of the better generals the confederates had. But he barely has any monuments anywhere to his names. Certainly not in the 31 states that raised those statues. (Only 11 states formed the confederacy yet 31 states have had statues erected mostly during Jim Crow times) ...
Good point -- just like in certain regimes around the world, some "famous folks" make it into the Statue Hall of Fame, and some not so much.
 

daftandbarmy

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The horror continues. As this goes on, and it will as other graves are uncovered, this will take the form of a 'decade of darkness' for Canada in many ways:

Sask. First Nation announces hundreds of unmarked graves found at former residential school site​


The Cowessess First Nation says it has discovered hundreds of unmarked graves at the site of the former Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan.

A news release Wednesday from Cowessess and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous First Nations (FSIN), which represents Saskatchewan's First Nations, did not give a specific number but said it will be the most found to date in Canada.

Cowessess Chief Cadmus Delorme and FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron are scheduled to hold a news conference Thursday morning to provide more details of the findings.

The Marieval Indian Residential School operated from 1899 to 1997 in the area where Cowessess is now located, about 140 kilometres east of Regina.

The First Nation took over the school's cemetery from the Catholic Church in the 1970s.

Earlier this month Cowessess started using ground-penetrating radar to locate unmarked graves.


 
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