Another Voice: Residential School Trauma Still Affects Indigenous Communities | Opinion

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We know that thousands of children died in schools. The deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, are believed to have gone unreported. These young lives were extinguished for a reason – their legacy did not fit the mold of what white settlers believed to be appropriate. These heinous crimes can never and should never be forgotten.

Indigenous people around the world, including many Senecs, still bear the scars and terror of that time. The sounds and memories of their experience can never be silenced.

Finds like those from old schools in Canada earlier this year, where the remains of nearly 1,000 children were found in mass graves, reopen these wounds. It is almost certain that there will be more horrific finds at other sites. Yet the majority of non-natives ignore this dark chapter of history.

In the years since the schools were closed, some, including the Government of Canada and Catholic bishops, formally apologized for their role in the terror perpetuated by residential schools. Others made no formal acknowledgment of the human and cultural damage that occurred under their watch, preferring to remain silent and close their eyes to what they left behind in the past.

If this is truly the time of truth and healing, all residential schools, whether federal, state or private, must be reviewed.


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