Get new posts by email:

How to Use this Blog

BOOZHOO! We've amassed tons of information and important history on this blog since 2010. If you have a keyword, use the search box below. Also check out the reference section above. If you have a question or need help searching, use the contact form at the bottom of the blog.

We want you to use BOOKSHOP! (the editor will earn a small amount of money or commission. (we thank you) (that is our disclaimer statement)

This is a blog. It is not a peer-reviewed journal, not a sponsored publication... WE DO NOT HAVE ADS or earn MONEY from this website. The ideas, news and thoughts posted are sourced… or written by the editor or contributors.

EMAIL ME: (outlook email is gone)


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

These were children. Every child mattered. It was GENOCIDE.

David A. Robertson has written many books about his — and his family’s — experience with residential schools and its intergenerational impact. He is the author, most recently, of the graphic novel “Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story,” the memoir “Black Water” and the picture book “On the Trapline.” He is donating part of his payment to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.

I grew up in Winnipeg. I’ve lived here since I was about three years old. My grandparents lived in Melita, which is about three-and-a-half hours southwest of the city. Between Winnipeg and Melita is the city of Brandon, which was also the site of Brandon Indian Residential School, one of approximately 150 residential schools in Canada. My parents used to drive out to Melita to visit my grandparents and, on every trip, they’d have to go through Brandon. And, on every trip, when they passed a particular RV campground, my father would point to it and tell my mother that children were buried there.

That was decades ago. And while the discoveries of, so far, over 1,300 unmarked graves of Indigenous children over the last few weeks, some as young as three, might be shocking to the majority of Canadians, it is not shocking to Indigenous people.

Maybe what’s happened recently has robbed me of the ability to be tactful, but I’d like to put things into perspective in the most direct way I can. Allied soldiers in World War II had, by far, a better chance of surviving D-Day than an Indigenous child forced to attend residential school.

There was a 40 to 60 per cent mortality rate in Indian residential schools.

It’s an appropriate analogy, using an event that occurred during World War II, during the time of the Holocaust, an indisputable act of genocide. There are laws against Holocaust denial in 16 European countries, as well as Israel. Meanwhile, in Canada, with most residential school sites left to be searched and already thousands of children confirmed to have died, the word genocide has yet to be uttered by Justin Trudeau. Carolyn Bennett recently called it a “terrible mistake.”

Can you imagine somebody referring to the Holocaust as a mistake? As though the deaths of millions of human beings, or thousands of children, warrants no more than a “Whoops.”

It’s disgusting, shameful, embarrassing, and Canadians need to demand better.

My grandmother, Sarah Robertson, attended Norway House Indian Residential School in the 1920s and 1930s. It was a perpetually overcrowded school that fed children rotten food, made girls sleep on a balcony in the winter, tied up kids to prevent them from running away and beat them when they wet their beds.

She didn’t tell anybody about her experience there; only to say to a granddaughter that it had made her sad when they cut her hair and to tell my mother that her sister had died while attending school. My grandmother had looked and looked for her sister but never found her. It was years later that she’d found out her sister had died. I’ve been to my home community, Norway House Cree Nation, on several occasions to look for her grave, but it, too, is unmarked.

I don’t want you to forget that 751, 215, 180, 104, 38, 35 are not statistics. I want you to get over the shock. What I don’t want is for you to become desensitized to the fact that these were children. My grandmother’s sister had a name. It was Maggie, and she mattered. Each number you’ve seen over the last few weeks is a child, and they all mattered.

The best way to honour their memory is to fight for a better Canada because, in so doing, you are fighting for them.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please: Share your reaction, your thoughts, and your opinions. Be passionate, be unapologetic. Offensive remarks will not be published. We are getting more and more spam. Comments will be monitored.
Use the comment form at the bottom of this website which is private and sent direct to Trace.

Happy Visitors!

They Took Us Away

They Took Us Away
click image to see more and read more

Blog Archive

Most READ Posts


You are not alone

You are not alone

To Veronica Brown

Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

Diane Tells His Name

click photo

60s Scoop Survivors Legal Support


Lost Birds on Al Jazeera Fault Lines

Lost Birds on Al Jazeera Fault Lines
click to read and listen about Trace, Diane, Julie and Suzie


As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.


Original Birth Certificate Map in the USA

Why tribes do not recommend the DNA swab

Rebecca Tallbear entitled: “DNA, Blood, and Racializing the Tribe”, bearing out what I only inferred:

Detailed discussion of the Bering Strait theory and other scientific theories about the population of the modern-day Americas is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it should be noted that Indian people have expressed suspicion that DNA analysis is a tool that scientists will use to support theories about the origins of tribal people that contradict tribal oral histories and origin stories. Perhaps more important,the alternative origin stories of scientists are seen as intending to weaken tribal land and other legal claims (and even diminish a history of colonialism?) that are supported in U.S. federal and tribal law. As genetic evidence has already been used to resolve land conflicts in Asian and Eastern European countries, this is not an unfounded fear.

Google Followers