It's a Canadian tragedy that tells us so much about the country's past, and the murderous influence of religion.
One that tells us so much about those who could bury 215 native children in an unmarked grave as if they were less than human.
And now that we know more about this unforgivable horror story, it also tells us so much about the sickening hypocrisy of our bestial Cons.
For there was Erin O'Toole, supplied teddy bear in hand, pretending to share the sorrow of so many.
When just over a week ago him and his Con gang were the only party to vote against aligning Canada's laws with the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
A federal bill to harmonize Canada’s laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has passed third reading in the House of Commons.The Conservatives, who have raised concerns the legislation would give Indigenous people a “veto” over natural resource projects, voted against the bill along with Independent MP Derek Sloan, a former Tory.
For the most miserable of reasons.
And then there was the time O'Toole called native protesters "domestic terrorists" and demanded that lethal force be used against them.
When in fact nobody was trying to derail trains, just stop them or slow them down, and O'Toole's hysterical fascist demagoguery could have caused a bloodbath.
And speaking of Canadian fascists and demagogues, there is Pierre Poilievre and his grotesque brand of racism.
Which in any other party but Canada's Bigot Party would have got him expelled from the caucus. And should have got him expelled from Parliament.
But then who can be surprised?
When Poilievre's Big Daddy Stephen Harper made it clear he had no interest in an inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
"Um it, it isn’t really high on our radar, to be honest ... Our ministers will continue to dialogue with those who are concerned about this."
Nor was Harper interested in searching for the bodies of those who didn't survive their residential school prisons.
In the spring of 2007, at the request of former Conservative Indian affairs minister Jim Prentice, the TRC created a working group—which included archivists, representatives of Indigenous organizations, former students and federal government officials—to focus on the children who died at the schools and to find the places where they were buried.
When the working group determined that the scope of the work needed to “get to the bottom” of the number of deaths in the residential school system would require at least $1.5 million in additional funding, former Conservative Indian affairs minister Chuck Strahl decided in 2009 they wouldn’t get the money, the report said.
Which helps us understand why O'Toole didn't seem to know the difference between education and cultural genocide.
The Conservative leader told the Ryerson students that residential schools were “meant to try and provide education. It became a horrible program that really harmed people, and we have to learn from that … But we’re not helping anyone by misrepresenting the past.”“I said that the residential school system was intended to try and ‘provide education.’ It was not. The system was intended to remove children from the influence of their homes, families, traditions and cultures,” O’Toole wrote in a statement, calling residential schools a “terrible stain on Canada’s history.”
Which made him look really dumb and sleazy. And made his Bigot Party look even worse.
I'd leave it at that, but I don't want to end that way because the reaction to this latest tragedy has filled me with hope that some good might come out of this horror story.
And that the fate of those children in that unmarked grave might finally register with other Canadians, and make more of them appreciate the suffering of those who survived that racist nightmare...
And do more to heal that wound so that we might finally get to that truth and reconciliation place we need so badly.
So I think I'll end with the story of one of my great Canadian heroes, Chanie Wenjack, a 12-year-old Ojibway boy who escaped from a residential school and tried to walk 600 kilometres back to his home in Northern Ontario.
Now let there be more inquests into what happened to the dead children at the Kamloops Residential School, or any others who may still be lying in their unmarked graves. Punish the guilty, make the churches pay.
Make sure that the Bigot Party never comes anywhere near power again.
And hope that a decent prime minister can lead this country to a better place...