Saturday, October 25, 2008


Americans may be about to choose a black man for their country's highest elected office. It is a significant tribute to the achievements of the 12% of the population of the United States, African-American, who are descendants of slaves brought to America's shores against their will and frequently in shackles.

Just a few days ago here, the abrupt resignation of Mr. Justice Harry LaForme as head of the "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" caused another outcry on the part of Aboriginal leaders to unlock the process, and from the Minister of Indian Affairs, for cooler heads to prevail. It seems the Minister, Chuck Strahl, wants all the parties to come together within days to restart the process and restore the credibility of the Commission.

The estimated cost of the Commission's inquiry into the legacy of abuse at residential schools is $60-million. So far it's been probably more dysfunctional than most of the survivors it aims to help. The survivors at least are getting their share of the nearly $2-billion taxpayer funded settlement over events that occurred fifty or more years ago. I say can't we just get over this.

Abraham Lincoln's "Emancipation Proclamation" of September 22, 1862, "freed the slaves": No excuses, no pay offs, no reparations, no commissions overseeing the welfare of survivors. Freedom! Period. Justice may have taken several decades, but one of theirs, a Harvard graduate, is about to become President.

On the aboriginal file, here in Canada successive governments at all levels have been apologizing, making payments, and being supportive, it seems to me, for fifty or more years. Can't we just stop this already. No one doubts that there has been injustice, and we're sorry. The world is full of injustice. The idyllic 1950's family lives of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, and of the Beaver Cleaver family were just televised fiction.

I was orphaned at age 6 and sent to a religious institution. Everyone picks-up emotional baggage along the path of life, and deals with it as best possible. Just about every family I know, including mine, has dysfunctional elements. Can't we just stop the whining and move-on?


  1. You miss the point: This was not random misfortune, but planned genocide. That is what Canada is spending $60m to try to dance around by controlling the 'independent' commission.

    Canada has no choice: The courts ordered it. Canada is sentenced to tell the truth, including the fact that half of the children died in the residential schools in the care of the governments and churches.

  2. Granny - Thank you for your comment and for expressing your point of view. I really appreciate receiving opinions different from mine, and respect your position. I shall therefore be looking forward to any other comments you may have on this, or any other topic.