Inspired by the forgiveness shared

Staff writer
March 7, 2014 01:00 AM

Editor:

Re: A disturbingly honest look at residential schools (Coast Reporter, Feb. 21).

This newspaper is to be lauded for its reporting of this event.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner Marie Wilson has said that the reporting across Canada of the former Truth and Reconciliation process in South Africa has been far greater than for our own process. Thanks to Coast Reporter for bucking that trend.

I am overjoyed that so many of the dominant culture, of which I am a part, filled the theatre to capacity. I am thankful to have company in this place of new knowledge and the difficult emotions it elicits. With a willingness to listen, to be present and support our First Nations' sisters and brothers, I am hopeful that a new future is possible.

I am grateful for the invitation from our local First Nations Band to hear their story.

I am humbled by the risk taken, and the courage exhibited, by survivors to be vulnerable to strangers, to be open to members of a culture which has found it easy to judge and deny.

I am inspired by the forgiveness shared in the interest of laying a foundation for our coastal society to move forward together as equals.

The history of the residential schools and day scholars is not just the history of our First Nations or the shame of a few churches or misguided government policy from a different time. This is our Canadian history, in which we and our forebears all played a role, a history that continues to impact how we regard one another. By sharing what we now know, we can ensure history never repeats itself. Together, we can create a reconciled future where all people who share this beautiful land are truly respected and welcome.

Brenda Nestegaard Paul, West Sechelt


© Coast Reporter

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