They were all children, who never had a chance, once they were snatched away from their families and passed the doors of these forbidding buildings, to defend themselves from the abuse they had to endure, without anyone to comfort them. Their parents and grand parents never had a chance to protect them. As adults, the children who survived never had a chance to enjoy a life free of the haunting memories.
It is not as if these harrowing stories, straight from survivors, have not been told and retold enough times by now. There is a saying that everyone will understand: walking in some one’s moccasins.
We are all humans. Those Canadian parents who are willing to stop and reflect for one moment how it would feel if their own children were suddenly taken forcibly from them, and be treated the way these innocent indigenous children were, can understand and share the pain of indigenous parents and grandparents.
Will the work of the TRC, who painstakingly, and for years gathered the stories of these survivors, now parents and grandparents, finally bring them some genuine hope that the depth of their grief is also being shared and understood by other Canadian parents and grand parents?
Will this horror of children secretly buried without any trace of their name, be a final recognition that over 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children lived traumatized lives in these places, and the 3,200 who died, many like the children at the residential school at Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc (Kamloops)?
All children, who ever they are, are part of the human family. All or us at ICBOC, share in the sorrow of all Indigenous peoples all over Canada who are mourning these innocent children.
After a tender and painful few days and numerous requests for guidance on how to talk to kids about Residential schools, Monique Gray-Smith produced a short video supporting educators, families and any adult who is being called on to have these tender conversations. We invite you to click on the link below
For those who wish to know more amount Monique and her work: