I have been waiting a long time to hear a more balanced “truth” about Canada’s Residential schools for Indian/Native/Aboriginal/First-Nations (etc., etc) children. Someday, I thought, voices will be raised in defence of the efforts those schools made to educate, feed, and shelter Indian children in need and help them transition to the realities of the European civilization that had become the dominant force in their lives.
Surely, it was not true that most native children had abusive experiences? Surely, many of them learned to read and write English or French, and math, and more, and then learned trades and some, at least, went on to learn professions?
I found it odd that in so many photos of Indian students in these schools, almost all look like clean, well-dressed, well-fed, happy kids. How come? Well, maybe just because many of them were?
In my previous post on Jonathan Kay’s article I included a couple of “Comments”, one by a fellow with in-depth experience on the Indian file who told us that the typical “genocide” narrative is simply wrong. So don’t believe it. And he directed us to documented proof of this – from our own government!
Now, thanks to an article “Letters to Senator Beyak .. Uncensored,” in C2C Journal (April 16, 2018) by Toronto Journalist and author Robert MacBain, we learn that Senator Lynn Beyak has been vilified and demonized for collecting letters of praise for Canada’s residential schools from Native people who loved, and clearly benefited from, their school experience. Mr. MacBain is writing a book about all this, and it’s about time someone made this effort to correct the public record. No one should ignore the need to call out abuses in human life, wherever found. But we should not withhold well-deserved praise and gratitude, either.
You can read more below to see some of these letters. They are a much-needed corrective.