Today’s the day that Stephen Harper is scheduled to apologize for the horrors of the residential schools where Aboriginal peoples in Canada were imprisoned for decades, creating generations of abuse and also of survival.
The apology is scheduled for 3pm today in the House of Commons and you can watch it online livestream on the CBC here.
For me, the government’s apology comes too late to be meaningful. It isn’t happening in concert with acknowledging the multiple thefts of land and culture that are still ongoing in land claim disputes, cultural appropriation, and lack of basic resources like clean water, culturally-relevant and sustaining education.
If I can find any hope today, I want this apology to galvanize and influence white settler folks. Sadly, I think that white folks are more likely to respond and react to white people talking about racism and cultural genocide than the survivors themselves. Will hearing Stephen Harper apologize start the unlearning?
For many, it will do nothing. For others, it will mean something. What does it mean to you?