I’m glad to see so many people are here
tonight and you’re so interested to find out a lot more about Canada’s true
history. What you’re going to see this evening too, is a story of all of our
histories. A hundred and fifty thousand children were taken away from their
parents. From their families, from their communities, from their language, from
everything that they know and love, and they were sent to schools that were run
by the churches and funded by the federal government. Over 6,000 children
died at the schools, and those are only the 6,000 children that we know about. So
many more still missing and unaccounted for. It feels a little overwhelming as a
member of parliament to say “how can I help?” How can – what should I do? You stand
in my shoes… what would you do if you were me? There’s actually so much you can do – little things that you can do without feeling paralyzed – and that is reading
more and finding out the true history of this country, and then passing that
knowledge down. I’m gonna be willing to bet that almost everybody in this room
went to school, and you were never taught that there were residential schools. Same
with indigenous people in school. We weren’t taught about our heroes. We
weren’t taught about what it was to be Anishinaabe. and what that means – what
indigenous knowledge means. So on both sides of the equation, there’s been no
understanding. So when I think of what could be done from your point of view,
it’s a very big change, it’s a change of looking at the last hundred fifty years
and saying this didn’t work. We almost have to start at the beginning.
In all our relations There’s one part that really stood out to me;
so I just asked what can we do, and the individual in the book says
that’s not even the right question it’s: do we even care?
as people leave tonight is there something we can all do to ensure that we get past that question?
To watch this film and to talk about this, that is an act of hope, that is an
act of change. Canada’s had a history of looking away
when it comes to indigenous people in this country. Gord Downie talks about
that too you know, when he talks about Chanie Wenjack, he said that we looked
away for too long. It’s time for us to stand up and say something and I think
and I hope that we’re at that part right now.