On June 11th, Stephen Harper made an apology on behalf of all Canadians to Canada’s Indigenous people for the abuses they suffered as a result of our hideous policy of forcing their children into residential schools. Many people were critisized for expressing scepticism about the apology in light of our government’s continuing abuse of our people. It seems that they weren’t sufficiently grateful for words in place of action.
There is no better example of Canada’s ongoing abuse of Indigenous people than this:
Over the past months (here, here and here) I’ve been writing about the fight by the Cree community of Attawapiskat to get a new school to replace their long since condemned building. So far, that fight has fallen on deaf ears with the Conservative government, despite the amazing efforts of the parents and especially the children of this community and the thousands of children from other communities, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, from all across the country. If you want a good primer on the story, check out the piece written by the Toronto Star’s Carol Goar, because it really does the situation justice.
northwestern lad has issued a challenge to Canadian bloggers to help the kids of Attawapiskat get their school for gawd sakes. Here’s the website the Cree community has set up to spread the word about their cause.
And at Peterborough Politics, you’ll find more information about the community’s efforts, as well as these suggestions for things you can do to help:
Write a letter to Chuck Strahl , Minister of Indian Affairs
- Sign the petition online
- If you’re a student, teacher or parent, join the many schools that have started their own campaigns of support for the kids (read here about the campaign of St. Edmund Campion Secondary School in Brantford, Ontario)
- Show the video created by the community to show the conditions in which these kids live.
- And finally, and probably one of the best ideas that I have seen yet, write a letter of support to the children of Attawapiskat. Let the kids know directly that you are with them. Letters can be sent to the following address: J.R. Nakogee School