I can understand telling the truth but I cannot understand how one ever reconciles having their child torn from their arms or being that child whose world is so suddenly altered in such a violent way.
And yet, I had the opportunity this past week to bear witness to both mothers and adult children having the courage to attempt to come to terms with their violations and losses. As a mother myself, it was heartbreaking to watch mothers sitting with their children while they recounted the atrocities of residential school. It seemed inconceivable that any of that could be reconciled.
Adult children spoke about the estrangement and the fear in being torn away from loving homes and embedded cultural norms that gave sense to their world. I wept along with them as I envisioned the small children that they once were.
All of them were adversely affected but many of them rose above that adversity and not only survived but thrived.
What a testament to their strength and their tremendous determination to not be destroyed and to rekindle pride in themselves as First Nation men and women.
It was indeed a privilege to be able to bear witness to their stories and to be in their presence. My thanks to Kwanlin Dun for the very nurturing environment that they provided for everyone in attendance and my greatest respect and blessings for those who shared and those who listened.