This week in order to complete our blog post we were required to watch The Secret Path by Gord Downie. “Chanie was a young boy who died on October 22, 1966, walking the railroad tracks, trying to escape from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School to walk home. Chanie’s home was 400 miles away. He didn’t know that. He didn’t know where it was, nor know how to find it, but, like so many kids – more than anyone will be able to imagine – he tried. I never knew Chanie, the child his teachers misnamed Charlie, but I will always love him” (The Secret Path, Gord Downie).
One thing I learned during the panel discussion of the video was about the 60’s Scoop. This was something I just learned about only about a month ago. Tasha, who was apart of the panel discussion, was a survivor of the 60’s scoop mentions her parents were survivors of Residential Schools and were not fit to take care of her. Her experience was one that was not a common one as she had a very loving home she was placed in but she was taken away from her culture. One thing I didn’t know was how many children that were taken as there was as many as 20000-50000 children taken.
Another thing I learned is that just talking and listening isn’t reconciliation but there needs to be to understanding and a deeper impact to help to move on and learn about the past.
One last thing I learned is how when this panel discussion occurred that only 66% of Canadians had heard or read of Residential Schools and that only 40% of Canadians had hear about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It is mentioned that well this is a problem and needs to get to 100% it is a little encouraging as 90-95% of Canadians express interest in learning about the Indigenous People and Indigenous Culture.
One connection I made was with what Tasha was saying how she didn’t learn about Residential Schools until her late teens when she met her birth parents. While I learned about Indigenous People and the Indigenous Culture I didn’t learn much about Residential Schools until high school and even then it wasn’t a lot. I didn’t get much knowledge of the topic until I took Indigenous Studies in University.
Another connection I made is that fact that this is still happening. There are still people in our society that are directly and indirectly dealing with the affects of Residential Schools and we keep trying to say “Oh this happened a long time ago and we should move on.” As we saw the people on the panel discussion we some way indirectly or directly affected by Residential Schools so it’s very much prominent today and needs to continue to be talked and learned about.
One question I still have is how can we continue to be part of the resolution and how can we better incorporate the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into our classrooms?