Canada, Meghna Chakrabarti, Wesley Eskimo discussed on On Point with Tom Ashbrook | Podcasts


Of harvest and in-stat volunteer This grandma who is telling the story of removing Her from her grandparents or family community dressed in her finest. And one taken by wagon to a train in albuquerque. We have to cut you off. We'll hear the rest of this when we come back. I'm so sorry about that but we'll be back. This is on point This is on point. i'm meghna chakrabarti. And today we're talking. About the history of indigenous boarding residential schools in canada and the united states and the intergenerational impact. Those schools had in what has subsequently been called acts of cultural genocide on indigenous peoples in both countries. We're going to take a look at what meaningful steps to reconciliation. Look like as well. I'm joined today by cynthia. Wesley eskimo she's joining us from a really on a really ontario. She's chair for truth and reconciliation at lake head university and governing circle chair for the national center for truth and reconciliation at the university of manitoba. Redes- pecos also joins us. He's with us from santa fe. New mexico co director of the leadership institute at the santa fe indian school and former governor of the coach adi pueblo and regis apologize for having to cut you off there right before the break where unfortunately beholden to the clock. But i wanted to give you a chance to finish your story. This story really ends with the ninety eight year old grandma arriving at the senate indian school but similarly won the loneliness of the experiences stories looking out the window every day to see a cloud of dust that might represent her grump coming for her the very heart wrenching and and deeply emotional stories of these elders reflecting upon that time and wondering if they were ever returned home So what strikes me here is as both of you have been saying. There has been long and deep knowledge of what happened at these schools for a couple of centuries almost amongst indigenous families and our collective larger nations and canada and the united states are now only recently beginning to take steps towards full acknowledgement. More broadly and the hard path towards reconciliation. So that's what. I want to talk about now with both of you about what has happened in canada and the united states and what still needs to happen so i just quickly listen to canada's prime minister justin trudeau who apologized to residential school survivors. In two thousand seventeen. It is my hope that in apologizing today in acknowledging the past asking for forgiveness that is a country we will continue to advance on the path of reconciliation. Together so cynthia. That is a statement of apology from the prime minister. But in twenty fifteen two years before that truth and reconciliation commission in canada put forth more than ninety action. Items that the that canada as a nation should take towards actual meaningful reconciliation. How many of those action items. A have been have been undertaken in canada. Actually a significant number. I actually had occasion to talk to the minister crown relations and asked that very question and she tells me that eighty seven percent of the ninety four calls to action that they were given and that prime minister trudeau committed to have actually been some of them being completely fulfilled and many of them are in process of being fulfilled. So she said they actually address eighty seven percent of them. Does that sound from your experience with with indigenous communities. Is that sound like the right number. Is the government putting gloss on their efforts. But i think the. I think it's a little bit of a combination of both because the the the government has to make some very specific steps forward. But they're not responsible for all of them. Many of them are also response The church is responsible The education systems are responsible. The child welfare systems the business community so their job is to actually oversee and ensure that there's something going on in each of those areas. I think that they've done something like the The citizens Oath is one of the things that they've had to respond to very directly. And they have that in the works they've actually given royal assent to the to the The declaration on the rights of indigenous people so there are some very fundamental pieces that have actually been done and the rest of it is really more overseeing so the child welfare piece for instance I did the as minister special representative across the country for three months on on The ministers behalf and the goal is to get the standards changed there and actually provide resources directly to the communities for prevention. So these things don't happen very quickly. Because the communities themselves have to do their part and they have to be ready to receive that and actually put in place to structures. So that's the other thing is happening. They're giving assent to education laws In ontario there's been some massive changes made in education There are now child. Welfare child wellbeing laws that are being put in place by first asian communities right across candidate including from b. all the way and those have to be Approved and put in place and actually funded by the federal government. And so they're working on that as well so it's not something that's in the public domain. The government of canada was complaining about their calm saying they should do better job of it but their job is to actually ensure that these things are moving forward. There's something like. I don't even eighty seven tables or i know how many tables are set up across the country to look at the restoration of jurisdiction authority over resources and government systems. So as those are moving forward. They're not put into the newspapers or any of those places so the communities themselves are responsible and responsive to the government the governor responsive to them and the provincial government has to be engaged as well because the province province in canada are responsible for the lands. So that means you know it does and sort of bigger picture here. I understand that Ninety four sort of really beefy recommendations ninety four calls to actions. They don't happen overnight but it's also been. It's been six years since the truth and reconciliation commission completed. Its work almost going on. What seven years. Now i can do my my math properly. Twenty twenty two. It'll be seven years and it was interesting. Because i just recently read an article in the guardian by a reporter named tara sutter who has reported internationally on a genocides and other countries. And she says you know what a what they what has been. Continuously being revealed in canada reminds her of what she's reported on say in cambodia in decades past but she says in this article that until a few weeks ago the government had completed. Now i should say completed not in process but completed only ten of the recommendations so i just wonder like how do we meaning. How do we really understand like when meaningful progress is being made. I think we. I think we don't really understand it until we actually see healthy. Communities where the addictions rates are are plummeting. Not just changing their actually plummeting where the resources are provided and housing is brought up to code in and better standards..

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