Magazine article Anglican Journal

Time for Some Soul-Searching

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Time for Some Soul-Searching

Article excerpt

Re: 'Nothing good' about Indian residential schools (May 2017, p. 3)

These days it seems to be politically correct for Canadians to condemn the evils of residential schools as the work of churches and the federal government. It would be better if we could recognize that Canadian society was complicit in the existence of the schools for many, many years. Most of us thought that it was a good idea to push Aboriginal children out of their own culture and into modern Canadian culture. We don't seem to want to admit that now, and as long as we don't admit it, we are at risk of repeating our mistakes.

It is true that there were some good, kind teachers in the schools. It is true that a few survivors had a positive experience. Why do we get so angry if someone mentions that? Are we trying to distance ourselves from evil? What we need to look into is the question of why and how good people in our society ended up being part of something evil. Why did good people in Canada remain unaware of the evil for so long? Why were we not paying attention? What assumptions did we make?

If we as Canadians do not all do some soul-searching, we run the risk of ignoring other evils in our midst. I understand why the Anglican church needs to stress that there is "nothing good" about Indian residential schools. The church cannot be seen to make excuses for its guilty past. But we, who consider ourselves to be good people, must ask ourselves why for so long we all did nothing.

Sara Chu

Victoria

'One-sided'

I take strong exception to the statement that there was "nothing good" about the residential schools (Nothing good' about Indian residential schools, May 2017, p. …

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