Many transgressions through Canada’s past

Looking at country through rose-coloured glasses not helpful

Re: Columnist’s portrayal of Canada was “disgusting’ (Letters, July 12).

It is no surprise really that D. Gramlich sees Canada through rose-coloured glasses. Our education system has deliberately avoided teaching the truth about Canada’s history. This has been very convenient for those who want to develop the resources of the land and inhabit the land.

I am 61 and have begun educating myself about what First Nations people want and why their lives are often full of struggle. The last residential school closed in 1997. The damage these schools have done to First Nations families and communities will need many generations of recovery. The public library has a wealth of books and documentaries if you care to open your eyes.

Canada was consulted by South Africa, which wanted a plan to deal with its ‘native problem.’ They modelled their anti-apartheid system on our reservation system. We can close our eyes, look the other way, deny what is going on and blame the victims but nothing will change.

We cannot move into a new future without healing the rift between colonists and First Nations. The standard of living of many aboriginal people in Canada is as bad as any indigenous people in the world.

I take no joy in Canada Day, Thanksgiving, Victoria Day or any celebration where we pat ourselves on the back for what we have done in 100 or 150 years. I am not proud of what we have done, as we have polluted, plundered and left much of a beautiful pristine land poisoned and uninhabitable.

Dawn Heiden

Saanich