Here is a shortened version of an essay entitled “Another Look At Apologies” published on The Frontier Centre for Public Policy website on June 2, 2018, by my colleague Rodney Clifton and his associate Gerry Bowler.
Rodney is the gentleman who told me years ago, long before the present public moral flagellations over the treatment of aboriginal people took centre stage, that when he worked in a far northern Residential School for a year, many Indian children, often hungry and sick, were brought to his school by their own parents, who begged the school to take them in.
And in a past blog on this topic I cited the Comment of “skeptical” who said “in truth, Indigenous children were very seldom sent to residential schools ‘forcibly’, unless it was their parents doing the forcing. As a researcher who has worked in the area for many years, I have seen literally hundreds of documents indicating that Indigenous parents were often eager to send their children to residential schools, many of which had waiting lists.”
While feeling the same public shame and upset over the treatment by some school officials, of some children, over the more than a century that these schools existed, I have felt the public “shame record” needs balance. This essay is basically arguing that if we are going to demand public apologies and reparations today from individuals who did no wrong, and render them to individuals who suffered no wrong, shouldn’t all sides be required to face their historical acts of cruelty?
Read on to see what you think …. (more…)