LETTER: Maturing as a nation means recognizing our past failures

May the graves of Indigenous children spur us as Canadians to seek the dignity of every individual

The Kamloops Indian Residential School circa 1930. (Archives Deschâtelets-NDC, Richelieu)

The Kamloops Indian Residential School circa 1930. (Archives Deschâtelets-NDC, Richelieu)

Maturity does not come simply from reaching a certain age or attaining a prominent degree of respectability or responsibility. Maturity is a lifelong pursuit.

Maturity accepts and deals honestly with what should not be denied or ignored personally, or denied and ignored when it comes to our country collectively.

The Canadian Indian residential school system has been found guilty of the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, and even the lives of Indigenous children. It caused the heartache and sorrow of their parents and peoples and festered great sadness and despair to this day.

The discovery of children’s graves at the residential school at Kamloops has understandably ripped open again deep wounds.

READ MORE: Remains of 215 children found at former B.C. residential school an ‘unthinkable loss’

READ MORE: Stó:lō elder opens up about children found at residential school site in Kamloops

Canada is 154 years of age on July 1, 2021. No one can completely undo their past or their country’s past, but we can learn from past unjust actions, so our present actions reflect greater understanding, respect, and reconciliation.

I hope we as Canadians are maturing and willing to face our nation’s past failures honestly. I say this as a Canadian.

May the graves of Indigenous children spur us as Canadians to seek the security, liberty, health, dignity, and well-being of every individual in our country in 2021 and beyond.

Raymond Maher

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