Honour Thy Neighbour

The time that we find ourselves isn’t lost on me but I wonder how many are feeling overwhelmed?

The truth that I have come to know and will never stop thirsting for is SO important that it must be heard with gentle ears and recived with an open heart. Yesterday I had an opportunity to have a tea with an 80 year old legend and a Canadian hard working Jew. I mean you knew the conversation was going to be important when within the first 10 minutes it was, “Ruby what are you doing with yourself and the off handedly you know that I am a Jew. The conversation started easily as I told her I had read a lot about World War 2. Quickly she said what do you know as I found myself stammering for facts.

I don’t think I upset her but when it comes to someone like me who is trying to gather knowledge. Some sort of peace to bring to all these tortorous facts. She asked why I stopped and I told her I was focused on what happened to our Indigenous culture. She told me to stop and go back to learning about the Holocaust. I told her in time I would love to but for right now I need to know how I came to be living on one of the biggest unmarked graveyards. There are babies underground who still haven’t made their way home.

Now I know this topic is either going to end poorly or be good but I was ready to try and see how the “average” Canadians felt. Most can’t imagine the horrors of having somebody show up your door and say, “We are taking your children. When they come back they will be better than before.” My husband asked about the parents didn’t they know they went missing? Somebody quipped up how can they notice one or two because they had so many children. Of course we talked about the rampant alcohol use and drug addiction but it is hard for anybody to talk about the elephant in the room so I tried.

What I am talking about is the shame these two feel in talking about this time in history. In one sense they disagree with what happened but don’t feel like they should be blamed for all the hurt. Cheekily I ask if you were the first settler coming to a “new land” that is already inhabited would you keep on trying to develop their land? There was zero attempt to treat this new culture with kindness and respect. Just because our forefather’s mislead doesn’t mean we have too? All they want is their babies back and an acknowledgement of what happened.

So now we are here. Leasing their land so we can rape it of any value. Handing out money to our Indigenous instead of doing what is loving, what is right. Rolling our eyes as they get more money from the taxes we pay. There is another source of discontent. Our government officials refuse to take a pay cut to repay this moral trauma. Instead they make us average Canadians work our fingers to the bone to pay these restitutions that further the divide between settler and Indigenous. What a time to be alive! How horrible we may seem. We listen to these testimonies where somebody’s Grandmother and Grandfather talk about deplorable abuse. A child was raped, another starved, most were disregarded and their culture was lost. You know that saying of be careful who you step on to get to the top? The European settler is guilty of just that.

I just can’t help that think that every piece of history we have ever known has been carefully articulated to keep them in control. Has it ever made sense to you? Have you ever questioned why? What made them search for new land? Oh wait! They were only searching for an easier route to the orient for spices and other miscellanous goods. What made them exclaim let’s inhabit this place!! And look how long it took to turn this land to crap. Where our Indigenous communities took care in preserving Mother Nature their white counterparts took revelations in destroying the land. You can’t destroy a living being and hide behind a non entity. Why do we defend these men of the cloth who took our innocents purity? There are no words to justify these deplorable acts. Of course their communities are ravaged with drugs and alcohol. How else would you be able to live and ingore all that pain. Humans failed you. God failed you. Life failed you. Where do you go when nobody cares and it is obvious by the greenbacks thrown around.

My husband always tells me I can’t change the world. That may be true but I refuse to remain complacent in it. It is so easy to just take a deep breath and walk away. I could. I am not directly connected to all this. My mom and dad were always safe in their childhood and I believe they had no knowledge of what was happening in residential schools. When a whole country is left oblivious to the level of genocide that the powers of be committed it is up to us to pick up the moral pieces and find a way to heal. Leaving these children any longer in unmarked graves speaks volumes towards our government behaviour. Children, no matter their parents, are born innocent. Why on Earth anybody would want to destroy that is beyond me. Our Indigenous population had always welcomed us with open arms and after everything that has happened to them most still do. All they wanted was a chance to show us their culture, explore the way they communicate with nature and live free amongst us and the Earth. In a country that pretends to be muti cultural why do we suppress the best parts of the land and its people. We can never forget what happened. At least we can do is honour them.

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