Recently, the horrible news about the remains of 215 Indigenous children at the residential school in Kamloops, B.C., has caused many Canadians to actively think about the harm that has been inflicted on the Indigenous community. Canada’s dark history involves colonizers stepping foot on land that wasn’t theirs and taking what wasn’t theirs to take. Although many Canadians forget about this dark history, news such as these remains surfacing is a huge wake-up call for many of us. Unfortunately, while this may “die down” on social media, the pain and suffering that the Indigenous community faces is not a trend.
Despite this harmful and devastating news, the government is not financially compensating the families of these children. Although money cannot take away the pain, abuse, and time spent not knowing what happened to their loved ones, it can help the families deal with expenses and other financial struggles that may have been encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, this is not the government’s call to make, and every effort should be made to pay for what they’ve done. It’s essential to address the disparities that Indigenous communities face – whether in healthcare or in their daily lives when constructing an oil pipeline threatens their land.
Actions and steps should also be taken to dismantle statues that were associated with harming the Indigenous community. One statue is the Egerton Ryerson statue at Ryerson University. Egerton Ryerson held a significant role in the residential school system that harmed and abused Indigenous children. As such, this university needs to be renamed and the statue dismantled. Although these are small steps that need to be taken, it is vital that these changes be made yesterday. Enough is enough, and Canada needs to be held accountable for the damage we have caused these communities. True reconciliation and healing can only be done once Canada has both acknowledged its history and made reparations for it.