This week has been so full of pain. As an artist, a singer, a storyteller by craft, I feel compelled to call upon the stories, the voices of #the215 children lost to the horrendous legacy of residential schools in our country. We now know that these children are just the tip of an enormous and unfathomable iceberg. I feel such a deep sense of shame, of sadness, of innocence lost. For far too long, as Canadians we have perpetuated myths of our history, glorifying our alleged “mosaic” of cultural identities, our “openness” and welcome mat to immigrants, and most particularly, our quality of relations to the native peoples of Turtle Island. I can no longer look away, nor can I ruminate on the themes of voice and identity without mentioning those whose stories, voices, languages and identities my government tried to erase.
I feel a deep sense of responsibility to provide a platform for the stories of my Indigenous brothers and sisters. I feel a deep sense of responsibility for taking action, for an end to empty words. I urge all of us to read the TRC calls to action, and to determine what the steps are that each of us can take, ACTIVELY, in this moment, to change the trajectory of this shameful narrative. We must own this. We must make amends. No more excuses, no more apologies without action. It is time for each and every one of us to step up. Including me.
Let us bring the children home. Let us hear their voices. Let us share their stories. Let us heal. All my relations.