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Helping to understand First Nations

Opinion / Readers' Letters

Re: A legacy that haunts us still, Dec. 15

Re: Students get crash course in aboriginal history, Dec. 14

 

A legacy that haunts us still, Dec. 15

Much has been written about the problems with the residential school system. Much less has been written about the desperate living conditions among First Nations people that led civil servants like Duncan Campbell Scott to the conclusion that it was necessary to put such a system in place.

The article says that when he died in 1947, Scott was among the most respected men in Canada. No doubt that was because there were people still alive who had an appreciation of the challenge that Scott faced in trying to address the situation.

Yes, undoubtedly, mistakes were made, but I think he deserves more respect for his work, rather than to be labelled by Mark Abley as someone who committed “cultural genocide.”

George Parker, Cobourg

Students get crash course in aboriginal history, Dec. 14

As a retired educator with a special interest in native studies I was pleased to read the article about the new OISE program designed to help teachers understand the history of our First Nations people.

Decades ago many of us who were working in elementary classrooms did teach the truth about residential schools and the unfair and even cruel treatment endured by many of the original residents of our land.

Then on Dec. 15, you published the article “A legacy that haunts us still,” which describes the sad story of our residential schools. Also, the article “Lose your job, lose your meaning” points up the danger that lies in taking away people’s self-respect.

But the article “Indian band turns to Asia for customers” gives us consolation as some First Nations people are managing to rise above the damage that has been done to them.

Thank you for these articles. They are “keepers” for all who are interested in this important aspect of Canada’s history and for all who see the need for change.

Claudine Goller, Scarborough#Re: A legacy that haunts us still, Dec. 15

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

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