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Controversy

 

Hello Senator Beyak,

I would like to offer my voice in support of your recent comments regarding residential schools. While we have all been made very aware in recent years by the Canadian media about the abuses that occurred over the years at residential schools, it is appalling to see the politically correct, absence of intellectual integrity that surrounds the (lack of) debate regarding aboriginal issues.

For one aboriginal senator to go on CBC and equate Canada's residential school system with Nazi Germany's systematic extermination of 6 million Jews (and go unchallenged in his comments) is beyond the pale. Is he suggesting that William Lyon Mackenzie King and Louis St. Laurent were war criminals? The hyperbole across the media and Ottawa 'intellectuals' is mind boggling.

There has been absolutely no recognition of the dozens of people who took on the very difficult task of setting up, teaching in, and running residential schools. These people made a real sacrifice in their lives. While there clearly were some who abused their position of power, the majority were people of high ideals and integrity.

Canada's government was faced with a very difficult challenge after world war 2. How do we help end the disease and poverty of first nation's people? The notion that they lived in idyllic circumstances in nature is ludicrous. They needed help to be brought into the 20th century.. The intentions of the government of Canada were indeed good, even if they failed in many ways. European colonization of the Americas may have been unfortunate on many levels - but it happened. If the residential schools system had not been implemented, what would have been the consequence? Why (looking in a rear view mirror) would have been a practical alternative? 

Aboriginal issues are very complicated and will defy any kind of real solution as long as debate regarding the issues is stifled by the media and aboriginal advocates. You have suffered a great deal of abuse in the media. I applaud your courage in trying to give a least a small correction to the totally one-sided perspective regarding residential schools.

Thank you.

Gordon