Inspiration Found amidst Generations of Suffering and Loss

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Shock Waves around the World

Reports of 751 unmarked graves, mostly of children were discovered in a former Indigenous Native American boarding school in Canada. One of several that are now being investigated. Not only are the Native American communities saddened and heartsick by this discovery but the news of this unfortunate event has shocked people to the core worldwide.

This latest story reflects the atrocities and injustice towards the violation of many people endured for centuries all over the world. This news is shedding more light in the war against racism, genocide, loss of freedom and culture. As most of my readers know the articles I write are primarily motivational and inspiring. This particular story I can relate to. One of my parents was Indigenous, the other Anglo Saxon English. This is a story about a child’s life.


My Indigenous Grandmother was a North American Native Indian born on the Six Nations Reserve in Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada. As a child she was taken from her family to live in these residential boarding schools. She was a survivor amidst the terrible conditions she was forced to live in. Although she remembered being there she never once spoke about it.

Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century Canada and the United States decided to convert and assimilate all native children by forcibly taking them from their family and homes placing them systematically in these residential schools. Most were administered by the catholic church.

Parents who disagreed and refused to allow their children to be taken away were severely punished, many were put in jail. These children were stripped of their culture, language and core beliefs. They were disciplined and trained to be domestic servants losing their self identity and heritage for decades.

inspiration found amidst suffering and loss

 

As a loving mother of two children myself I can’t even begin to imagine the sheer horror and despair of losing my own children if they were taken away from me. That is a mother’s worst nightmare.

Children of all ages, as young as three were displaced into these boarding schools having to be exposed to poor living conditions, neglect, abuse, malnutrition, sickness and disease. Thru history and records found so many of these children did not survive.

The obvious reason for this ‘race-based oppression’ was to convert these native children to the civilized North American culture and spiritual beliefs. If you brush up on your history you will find that an “Indian Removal Act” in the US and “Canada’s Indian Act” was quite prevalent and active for centuries.

Thankfully my grandmother continued on to live a long, inspiring life. Married for over fifty years giving birth to eleven children. She was a serene, peaceful Christian women who was loved by many family and friends. In retrospect when I was young I remember taking her to visit relatives. She always refused to sit in the front seat of a car, as it ‘wasn’t her place’ especially if a white person was sitting in the back.

I never understood this mentality as I clearly was not brought up that way. This always confused me but thru the years I finally understood why. I am very proud of my Indian heritage which I in turn continue to educate my own children to have the upmost regard & highest esteem for their heritage.

Although this is a very sad situation I choose to perceive this positively. Whenever we are confronted with a negative situation in life if you change your perspective you will find that the situation does in fact have a polar opposite. Something incredibly positive can be found. These children did not die in vain.

In this regard an enormous amount of much needed awareness has been created. My hope is that we all can live in harmony, side by side with grace and respect towards each other, no matter what race, culture or color of skin. When we can finally realize this beautiful fact we could raise worldwide mass consciousness throughout all denominations to create an enlightened higher mental state, one we have never experienced before. Life could truly be as Louis Armstrong, the famous singer who sang his classic 1967 song “What a Wonderful World”. Peace and respect to you all.

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