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

Province rejects criticism from Saanich councillor over McKenzie Interchange

Transportation ministry says project will ‘significantly lower’ greenhouse gas emissions

UPDATE: Father on trial for murder describes being ‘tackled’ and ‘stabbed’ in Oak Bay apartment

Oak Bay father takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

Police rule out foul play in death of man found in Saanich

The B.C. Coroners Service will now conduct an investigation

West Shore RCMP snag suspected thief with bait bike

GPS-equipped bike leads police to arrest suspect in Langford

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

Most Read