June 06, 2008 Features & Images » Feature Story

The Dreamcatcher Commission 

Canada’s attempt to make amends with its stolen children

click to enlarge Residential School Survivor Majorie Natrall at her house in Squamish
  • Residential School Survivor Majorie Natrall at her house in Squamish

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As for the Prime Minister’s apology, he’s happy that it is happening but seems ambivalent about how it’s being delivered.

“I’ve always thought… if they’re going to give me an apology, I would have liked it in a letter sent to me personally,” he said. He does, however, welcome that it is happening.

Marjorie, meanwhile, seems indifferent about an apology from the Prime Minister.

“Doesn’t mean nothing to me,” Marjorie said.

Laura thinks an official apology should go a little further than a simple sorry in the House of Commons.

“I’d like someone to make them some bread, with some peanut butter and jam, and the peanut butter’s really dark brown, and see them eat it,” she said. “That’s what I had to eat. A rotten apple, oranges. It’s an experience you can’t say sorry for, what’s happened in a way.”

Neither Marjorie nor Laura seem certain as to whether they’ll testify before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Marjorie has already shared her story with a healing circle, but she admits that she is still angry over her time in residential school.

“I still keep that in my heart what happened, you know, I can’t forget it,” she said. “You can’t heal something like that with me.”

Qaciam seems to welcome the commission more than they do, but he doesn’t think it’s the be-all end-all of a healing process.

“It’s going to be a long, long process,” he said. “Those experiences don’t go away. You’ve got to heal from it, you’ve got to talk about it, you’ve got to learn to accept it and move on to the next one… until you finally make some peace with all the garbage you’re carrying for years.

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