Celebrating Canada Day? New Canada or the Old Colonial Canada?
by Catherine Wylie
The absolute horror of unmarked graves at so many Canadian indigenous residential schools has people finally rethinking what we are celebrating on Canada Day. How can we celebrate a supposed great nation when the inaction of institutions and people allowed such heinous, evil, cruelty to be perpetrated on our children. How is it in a country that prides itself on love, kindness, and compassion that allowed these children of genocide to go unrecognized and forgotten for so long? Why? Systemic racism still predominant in our old institutions is a big reason. The Patriarchal paradigm of power over, domination, and control were created by religious organizations over 6000 years ago to control people. Enslave them, especially women and our indigenous peoples worldwide. And that programming runs in everyone's DNA from very mild to severe. Women were only declared people and thus no longer slaves/chattel to men in 1929 in this country. Much to my shock and horror again a few years ago I found out through researching on the Patriarchal paradigm that our indigenous First Nation's in Canada were not declared people until 1970. Meaning the Power Over elites had zero issues continuing with the genocide and abuse of what they considered were their chattel to do what they wanted with...like women in general only far worse if you were non-white.
The Domestic violence stats in Canada show that Indigenous women are targeted 6x to 8x more than all other female gender cultures. That is outrageous! Every 6 days a woman in Canada is murdered by her intimate partner or ex and 70% of Domestic violence goes unreported because our RCMP throw up their hands-on domestic violence. I know this having experienced the inaction of the RCMP firsthand. The RCMP warriors on the ground are not given the resources to do what they would like to do which is protect and defend us..the warriors on the ground are not at fault but the Patriarchal power over culture that runs within this institution as well...and that has to change and it began with Coercive Control being brought into the Divorce Act just recently...next into the criminal code...but I digressed a bit...had to...
I believe that we are all One, HumanKind so when I write I refer in terms of my or ours not in any position of ownership or power over but in the understanding of the inclusion of Oneness no matter our race, culture, or gender. If I can find a better way to say our in terms of Oneness I will use it...
So the situation with the inaction on the Residential School genocide has to be a priority in terms of healing our country into a country I want to celebrate. My cousin's wife is Mayo Moran, Provost and Vice-Chancellor of Trinity College. She says in a CBC news report: “I think it’s very disappointing. The Catholic Church has a lot of work to do to make amends,” said Mayo Moran, provost and vice-chancellor of Trinity College at the University of Toronto.“The least it could do is meet its commitments.” "Former University of Toronto dean of law, Mayo Moran, is one of many saying the church needs to honour its original $25-million commitment to residential school survivors. (Nicole Ireland/CBC)
The church agreed to pay $25 million for school survivors in a historic settlement in 2005.The deal obligated the church to make “best efforts,” and launch a fundraising campaign similar to that of a university or hospital.
After seven years, less than $4 million had been raised nationally.The church’s lawyers argued in a secret court hearing it had made those best efforts and a judge agreed, absolving the church of further fundraising. The results of the hearing were published months later.
The incomplete payment is “an absolute embarrassment.” said Chief Bobby Cameron of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN), which represents Saskatchewan’s First Nations.
“All efforts should be going to helping survivors and their families, not to buildings.”
Moran, who spent 15 years chairing the compensation committee for residential school survivors, says spending millions on cathedrals and churches “casts doubt” on the church’s claim it gave its best efforts to help survivors.
She said Pope Francis has been progressive on climate change and other issues, but that he and Vatican officials have not done nearly enough on abuse and residential school issues. “You can see a pattern of avoiding financial responsibility and extreme litigiousness. It doesn’t reflect well on the church,” said Moran.
In the Archdiocese of Regina, staff, volunteers and contractors have been working for two years on the $17-million campaign to renovate Holy Rosary Cathedral and construct a ministry centre.
“We have now received a total of $6.58M in gifts and pledges and are expecting that number to grow as donors are inspired to support the campaign … Together we can make it happen!” reads a letter from the campaign chairs on the Archdiocese website.
The website also contains detailed instructions for individual church parishes wanting to build or renovate. It recommends church members “identify a need for several donors to make donations in excess of $10,000 for your campaign to be successful.”
The website states the four keys to success are “prayer, involvement of pastor, choice of people [and] public relations/communications.”
The Archdiocese has hired the same professional fundraising firm that helped Saskatoon Catholics raise $28.5 million for a new cathedral. Source: Benjamin leo Times-News Express re CBC.
So classic of old Patriarchal institutions to put more emphasis on money for buildings and the exterior splendor look of the church rather than putting the money where it belongs towards the compensation and healing of all those souls lost to the genocide and abuse. I cannot celebrate Canada Day again until we see every institution involved in the ongoing genocide of our First Nation's families brought to justice with appropriate accountability and consequences...I read somewhere bringing charges for those responsible would be complicated...Why??? and who cares if it's complicated as those guilty of the atrocities and allowing it to continue need to know we together will no longer tolerate it...This July 1st I sat and let the tears of grief flow for all those lost and the pain of the survivors. I understand a little of the pain of having suffered interpersonal trauma by institutions and those employed by them that were supposed to be truthworthy, but never the pain of having your children stolen by a church and government, not knowing where they were or if they would come home. I have 5 children and 9 grandchildren and that horror is unimaginable to me...
It is important that we all take the action we can to help First Nations' families heal. So do what you can to support the sovereign healing of our indigenous brothers and sisters. I set out years ago to do what little bit I can by bringing positive change into everything I do to raise the consciousness of our planet so all species and ecosystems live together sharing in peace and harmony! I have faith in the majority of the people of Canada and that finally, we will stop tolerating all the talk without action behind it. I look forward to the day when I will celebrate our healed nation out of colonialized patriarchal power over into a truly empowered nation of love, inclusion, kindness, and compassion. Together we will make it happen! Take action!
If you want to understand better systemic racism in Canada Bob Joseph a former associate professor at Royal Roads University, has a best selling book called 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act...and his book with his wife and partner Cynthia F. Joseph, Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips and Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality, and Working Effectively with Indigenous People's.
I love you!