Truth Telling: Holding out hope for healing

Victoria News reporter Roszan Holmen talks about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and where things might go from here

When Esquimalt Nation Chief Andy Thomas took the stage at the Truth and Reconciliation event last week, he didn’t focus on Indian residential schools.

He used his spotlight to talk about the present: about the Douglas treaties that still need to be addressed and about the Esquimalt reserve. At 18 hectares, it is home to 250 people, and supports another 150 people off reserve.

“We’ve been held out of the economy for too long,” Thomas said.

Reconcile. ‘To make friendly again after a period of estrangement,’ according to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary.

After a full day listening to residential school survivors, I was inspired to look up the word.

After truth telling, reconciliation is the second purpose of the national commission, and the word is meant as more than some form of settlement between government and First Nations’ leaders. Every Canadian has been charged with the task. But practically speaking, how do we move forward?

The words of one young woman at the event stuck with me: Why, she asked, don’t schools teach the names of First Nations whose homelands they occupy? Why does every child learn basic French, but not even a few phrases of the First Nations language of their region?

It’s a solution unlikely to right our nation’s historical wrongs, but it’s a place to start.

It’s hard to respect the rights of people we know little about.

Just Posted

Cigarette butts the main culprit in lagoon beach cleaup

Thousands of butts were picked up by the Greater Victoria Green team recently

West Shore fireworks courses start next week

Course required for mandatory permit

Chef struck by car on Gorge Road dies in hospital

Khushal Singh Rana leaves behind a wife, four-year-old son and unborn twins

Young conductor to premiere new composition at Celebrate Canada concert Monday in Victoria

“Spirit of the True North” the latest musical accomplishment for View Royal’s Jared Richardson

More than 900 new units planned for Langford Lake development

Council still has to sign-off on rezoning application

Sooke fudge company on Dragon’s Den Nov. 2

Fudge in A Round appearance on Dragon’s Den celebrated with a viewing party at the local Legion Nov. 2

String of collisions in James Bay, downtown Victoria, linked to suspected impaired driver

City man faces up to four MVA charges after vehicles hit, pedestrians almost hit

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

EDITORIAL: It’s time to change the sexual assault conversation

The words “Me Too” are taking social media by storm this week,… Continue reading

Council to hold public hearing on EDPA report Oct. 28

Saanich residents will finally get a chance to comment on a long-awaited… Continue reading

Book recycling program helps Peninsula families

It has been 12 years since Daphne Macnaughton was principal of Saanichton… Continue reading

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Most Read