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Residential Schools

 

Dear Senator,

I would like to commend you for your remarks on the issue of residential schools, especially on speaking up for the many teachers and helpers/staff, religious, cleric and lay, who gave the best years of their lives, and their best efforts to help with the education of First Nations children in often very difficult circumstances.

You are right to point out that while the mistakes, wrongs and at times even evils of the system and the whole experience have to be pointed out and dealt with openly, there should be equal effort, zeal and persistence in uncovering and celebrating the abundance of good that has happened as well. There cannot be justice without justice for all!

I have lived and worked in Prince Albert, SK, for a number of years and had the opportunity to meet retired teachers of residential schools, and listen to their experiences as well. Those I met, were all good, hardworking and well intentioned people. I also had the opportunity to meet First Nations people, teachers and lawyers, who are now effective leaders and advocates among and on behalf of their people, exactly because they received education in those residential schools.

I would like to encourage you to continue to witness to the whole truth on this important and sensitive issue.

Sincerely,

A