Privilege…continued.

The thing about privilege is, you don’t always know you have it. It doesn’t mean you have to feel guilty and ashamed about who you are. It means you have a responsibility to acknowledge where you have benefited and others have lost out.

With the discovery of 215 Indigenous children in a mass grave at residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia – we (white folk) have a responsibility to to acknowledge our wrongs. It is disheartening to know that the Catholic Church of Canada has not offered a formal apology as of the time of this writing, nor has there been an apology from the Pope.

Similarly disheartening, I’ve read that the Vatican has not released the records of the documented children who had attended this particular residential school. Why?

The Catholic church was responsible for 70% of the residential schools in Canada. This is not the beginning. There will be more mass grave sites discovered.

This is something that Indigenous people have known. I know how much I love my children and to not know where my babies are would be nothing short of torture.

This is also an example of generational trauma. At the hands of the colonizers (white folk) and the Catholic church. It’s part of history that isn’t taught in schools.

(My daughter, who is in 3rd grade has some knowledge of what a residential school is as opposed to the settler version I was taught).

We all have the responsibility to speak out…especially for the voices that couldn’t.

Karla

Published by karlaveens

Lover of life, yoga, books and deep conversations.

5 thoughts on “Privilege…continued.

  1. It’s disgusting that the Catholic Church hasn’t apologized for this. I think the federal government and the churches who ran the schools really need to come up with the money to do ground-penetrating radar searches around all of them.

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  2. Thank you for sharing further info. I remember reading your previous comment and I was meaning to find out more about this. The line “we (white folk) have a responsibility to acknowledge our wrongs” stands out to me. I like that it drives home the idea that we, as a collective, have a responsibility to keep these individual stories alive in our collective memory and acknowledge the harm caused (and stop systemic erasure).

    A formal apology is an important start. I didn’t appreciate the gravity of the Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples back in 2008 (I was in high school and they did not teach this very well in schools), but I now see that it marked a symbolic shift in the First People’s narrative. The acknowledgement of past wrongs gave the First Peoples a newfound voice and platform to share their own history and start productive discussions about what reconciliation means to them.

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  3. The Canadian Government did a formal apology too in 2008. At some point, I am going to expand. Acknowledgement is important, but there is also action…how one’s behaviour matches their words. There is so much to blog about!

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