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LETTER: Reconcile today

From reader Jason Peil

Canada is what we make it. Today. The crimes we witness from our past haunt our lives now. We cannot celebrate our achievements without realizing that we are ignoring our present failure to reconcile. We need to start telling this as our story too. It is our story, not someone else’s.

Our grandparents may or may not have understood it at the time, but they sure weren’t ashamed of it. Maybe we are growing towards accepting the truths, but when we are not prepared to change whole systems, we are perpetually locked into the direction set by the past.

Our time to reconcile is now, so we need much more than land acknowledged but we need land claim settlements. We need our politicians to accept the court decision to make reparations payments to survivors. We need our history books to stop erasure and teach local First Nation’s histories as in order, not separate and disorganized (a tool of shrouding history in historicism), and we need to actively seek out more of our hidden history. It is out there.

Our family secrets, resistance to Canada, hiding people from lynch mobs, stories from the police and social worker kidnappers, the people who supported Canada and the government system to eradicate the Indian in the child. Our history is personal. Time to voice what we know, especially when we know that it disagrees with the whitewash we were given in school or on the CBC.

Jason Peil

Nelson BC