Cree writer and pianist Tomson Highway’s memoir Permanent Astonishment provides many insights into why he is a Canada Indigenous frontrunner. He successfully navigated his way through nine challenging years at a residential school. Then from 1975 to 1978, he got two B.A.’s from Western, coordinated the Festival of Native Music ’78 and became my friend.
Metis leader Nick Sibbeston (1943-) was born in Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories. His memoir “You Will Wear a White Shirt” (2015) recounts his time as NWT premier 1987-1989. Since I worked with the Dene-Metis 1983-1987, I was there when he was premier. His views on Dene-cizing the Catholic church are of great interest to me.
I am very much aware of the harm that resulted from numerous aspects of the Indigenous residential schools. However, there were Aboriginals who graduated from these schools, who went on to lead productive and successful lives. This post provides examples of those who had positive experiences.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada final report executive summary (2015) overemphasizes the negative and under-reports the positive. The lessons from the painful accounts need to be translated into more than a blueprint for “stratospheric rights,” particularly since not all Indigenous people are on the same page when it comes to this executive summary.