Posted in Canada remembers, reading, Reconciliation, writing

#Sundaystills from 1 to 94

This originally started as a blog prompt post.  The theme of Sunday Stills was on numbers and so I looked through my Word Press archived media files for content. The 2 pictures that spoke to me sent the blog post in an entirely different direction but it still features numbers.

Given that it is National Indigenous Month in Canada this became the focus.

These two photos that feature numbers are a reminder that as a Canadian I have homework to do. Steps that acknowledge the truth of colonialism and move forward to reconciliation in my actions. 

Indeed I think the first step is something I have heard but not often seen in writing. I have seen it from different levels of government but certainly not at the personal level.

For non-Indigenous communities, land acknowledgment is a powerful way of showing respect and honoring the Indigenous Peoples of the land on which we work and live. Acknowledgment is a simple way of resisting the erasure of Indigenous histories and working towards honoring and inviting the truth.”Aug 10, 2020

Truth and Reconciliation Report

In doing some research to ensure I was correct in my assessment of Treaty 6 boundaries I realized that the Rural Municipality that I live in has no formal land acknowledgement and so have emailed them to ask that they address this. A small step to take but an important one.

Sadly many levels of government recieve failing grades as this Calls to Action Accountability Report through the Yellowhead Institute. At the current pace it will take until 2060 to address them all. Only 3 were completed last year. The report in the link talks about the reasons why. And I think it highlights why citizens must demand accountability from our elected representatives. I will be emailing my MP to let her know of my concerns at the pathetic pace for addressing these ongoing items. On a personal level I have just downloaded the Truth and Reconciliation Report to read. I have read the 94 items but not the entire report and I aim to correct that oversight.

I acknowledge that I live and write from land that is on the traditional territory of the Cree, Saulteaux, Dene, Dakota, Lakota, Nakota, and Métis nations. I express deep and heartfelt gratitude and respect for this land.

I encourage fellow Canadians reading this blog to comment and let me know what kinds of actions you are taking. By sharing our ideas that we can all implement it will help make Canada better not just for us but for the First Nations who’s home territory of Turtle Island became our Canada.



I have had a love of the written word for my entire life. It's no surprise that eventually I found a platform where I could write. It's random; sometimes funny, occasionally sad, maybe even at times from anger and I lean towards creative photography and hands on crafts. I have a few blogs that high light these interests.

8 thoughts on “#Sundaystills from 1 to 94

  1. Good post Bernie. A couple of year’s ago, we tripped across a web site You Need This Box, a site about anti racism. We thought, OK, let’s take a look and ordered the box. The materials inside made us take a good look at ourselves to see the ways in which we are a part of the problem. The best thing it did was explain what is meant by “White Privilege”, which no white person seems to think they have. We can all benefit from a bit of soul searching. Allan


  2. I’m afraid that we will have to agree to disagree on this topic Bernie. First let me say up front that when I was 11 my family left the city for a small Alberta town. In that town my first and best friend was a full native “Indian”. He was smart and we got along very well. However in Junior high (grade 8 I think), he was unable to continue and was placed into a special class for Indians. No learning took place in that room. It was just a holding room until they dropped out. It was my understanding that if his parents told the school that they wanted him to continue in regular classes he would have but they remained silent. We lost touch after that and now I don’t even remember his name. In my career with the federal government I learned about residential schools through a two day learning session put on by a prof from Winnipeg. It was an eye opener. So you might think that this would make me more sympathetic to their cause. Perhaps but only to an extent. Why? Because one bad deed does not justify another. For example the many graves at residential schools are made to look like homicides by priests and other school workers. There were probably instances where that was true but the vast majority of those deaths of children died from the many epidemics at the time. My photography often takes me to rural cemeteries as well as old local history books. Rural cemeteries are full of both marked and unmarked graves of children who died from diphtheria, scarlet fever, Spanish Flu and many others. The churches were unable to keep up with the deaths. Many times the parents also died taking with them the names of the deceased children. They also couldn’t afford markers because they had no money. In some cases I would estimate that 20% or more of the known burials in the cemetery were children. So how could the native children be any different? In fact in a crowded school setting the rates of infection would have been worse. The schools were unprepared to deal with the large numbers of deaths. They would bury the children but markers were beyond reach for the childrens graves. Those children who died were victims of viruses just like the white children. If they remained on the reserves their chances of survival might have been a little better but they viruses did not stop at borders. This does not make the childrens deaths murders. It does not make the priests killers. The native children suffered from abuse just as white children have in churches across North America. No doubt it was worse in residential schools because there was almost no chance of the abuser getting caught. However that does not mean that these deaths were homicides. This was a reality of the day for all people. If the truth is stretched to suggest that all residential school burials were homicides then, if the real truth gets out, people will start to wonder what else has been grossly exaggerated. This would be a second tragedy for the native population. People in Canada should learn about residential schools but it should be bases on facts, not politically popular ideas. If their history is based on a foundation of ideas and half truths it will eventually fail as all half truths must fail. I agree with you that this needs to be taught as part of our history but I want the full and actual history taught, not an emotional and politically expedient history. That benefits nobody. Finally, I think that current trends will create more divisions rather than reconciliations. Hopefully as time passes facts will rule the day. That’s when we can come together as all having connections to the sufferings of the past.


    1. Glen, found your comment in spam along with 3 others. Not sure why but apologize for the late response. It’s not a matter, for me, of agreeing or disagreeing. I want to learn more and as you said the real facts. I agree that lots of those deaths may have been from “natural causes” but there were many that were from abuse and neglect. I have read about the diet and even back in the 1910’s there was a director that was trying to get that changed but then the Fed Government fired him for his concerns. You learnt about residential schools through work. My kids were already in school before I ever even heard of them and then it was only that the last one in Canada was closing in 1996. I think this period in our history has been very hidden away and I feel it needs to be brought forward. I agree that there is a lot of division in Canada right now and that’s not a good thing. Thanks for the comment — this is what i wanted to do was promote dialogue so we can all learn. Bernie


  3. I put a land acknowledgement on the sidebar of my blog last year. So far only one person has commented on it so I am not sure if anyone has even noticed. I am trying to learn words in the Hul’qumi’num language and treasure every opportunity I have been given so far to learn about this island from its original peoples. Continuing to support indigenous business people whenever I can. Huy ch’q, Bernie (thank you in Hul’qumi’num)


    1. I usually read your posts via reader on either my phone or my laptop. I had to go into your actual site (outside of reader) to see the sidebar and all the info you have on there. That is an excellent land acknowledgment that you have done. I thought of you as I was writing the comment as I know that you seek out and support indigenous businesses. Hiy Hiy (to give thanks in Cree) to you my regular reader who brings to the plate a great perspective. Bernie

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hiy Hiy (in Cree) to you for stopping in to read, comment and digest what you have read. I am not very familiar with how things stand with the indigenous population in the USA. We mostly hear about black issues on our news broadcasts. Bernie

      Liked by 1 person

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