Category Archives: Socials

Effecting Everyone – op-ed

Tamsyn Burgmann of The Canadian Press writes in the CBC “Strappings, beatings with a pointed stick and orders to stand in the classroom corner for speaking her own language were among “horrific” measures that erased Darlene Bulpit’s ability to pass along her First Nations heritage to her two children and three grandchildren.”

It is no question that the Residential School attendees endured terrible pain. It was only fair that the Canadian Government apologized to all students of Residential and Day schools, that were victims to physical and sexual abuse.(apology in form of check)

It is great that the Government is recognizing the pain and suffering the students went through. The only problem with this apology is that, the students were not the only people affected. The students who came home, most likely carried and passed on the burdens of the residential schools. The UBC First Nations Studies Program writes “intergenerational effect: many descendants of residential school survivors share the same burdens as their ancestors even if they did not attend the schools themselves. These include transmitted personal trauma and compromised family systems, as well as the loss in Aboriginal communities of language, culture, and the teaching of tradition from one generation to another.”








Another note that should be taken into consideration, is that these students did not have a choice. The government didn’t feel that the aboriginals were fit to integrate into society. The residential schools were a way to essentially “fix them”. Therefore, in 1870, aboriginal children were forced to attend residential schools. 1000 Conversations says “the Government of Canada partnered with Anglican, Catholic, United, and Presbyterians churches to establish and operate boarding and residential schools for Aboriginal (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis) children…The intent of the Residential School System was to educate, assimilate, and integrate Aboriginal people into Canadian society. In the words of one government official, it was a system designed “to kill the Indian in the child.”… Attendance at residential schools was mandatory for Aboriginal children across Canada, and failure to send children to residential school often resulted in the punishment of parents, including imprisonment.”

One thing that is not often talked about is the effect on the parents. Now not only were the student going through a terrible time, but the parents had to give up their kids. It was common for the parents to commit suicide. This is further proof that the residential schools effected every one around them, not just the students.

It is very good that the struggles that these students faced are being recognized and addressed. It is still not grasped that these residential schools causes so much pain, to even the people not directly associated with the residential and day schools. Not only from the attendees carrying the burdens of the schools, back to their families and tribes. But also the pain that the parents went through when having to give up their children. The government should apologise to everyone affected.

Parsons-Confederation Final Address

Dear Father,

Change for the better, that’s what I worked for. Now, some people that were working against me might have thought that they, were changing for the better. So who is? Well I have worked for the progression of parallelism between ethnic groups, change for the greater good, and I truly believe that that is change for the better. But is it? Do I believe that? I hate lying to you father but I can’t… shake the feeling that I worked for something so pointless.

A fork in the road. Just, being an English speaking male of my heritage I probably would have grown up to fight this battle with Macdonald and Brown. But I truthfully respected what I was taught growing up, what I was taught by you. Faire likeness for everyone, and to achieve faire likeness, we must work together.

I am blissful for what I have accomplished with the French Canadians, and for what I have contributed to form this new nation. But here is my dilemma father, my feeling of pointlessness. What if the French Canadians and any I helped, were slowing Canada down? What if I was supporting the anchor to this vessel of a nation? I can only think, where we might have been, If I, at that fork in the road, gone the other way. Could we, the British, have formed Canada alone? Might we be further along this lengthy road? Like I said, this is all I can think, and that is why I am contacting you father. I ask for your thoughts, answers even.

And Father, please don’t think ill of me.

Parsons-Confederation Post #2

Dear Father,

Dec, 5, 1858

I know you are no longer with me, but, as I write you, I fear that I will joining you soon. I am not well. And even though I know that I have little days left on this land, I am writing this because I would like to tell you about what I have accomplished.

As I have told you earlier, I have aligned with the French Canadians. Though I know they need my help more than I need theirs, It feels good know I am helping them preserve their culture. I have a close relationship with Louis Lafontaine. I helped him get a parliamentary seat and together we have been working together to preserve the French language in Canada. Together we have revolutionized the government by leading a responsible ministry.

We are scared though. We would like to for this land to unite into one Canada but we are afraid of the French being flushed out by the British, and Americans. If only Mr. Macdonald could see that uniting with Lower Canada is only going to make Canada stronger, if only he could see what we have to offer. I do hope that the French culture is preserved, but like I said, it seems my time is up. I will join you soon.

-Robert Baldwin

Where Have We Been? Where Are We Going?

               Where have we been? Well, what does this questions even mean? What are we looking for? Ahhhhhh! This is one of those frustratingly awesome questions that keep us up at night, and just end up raising more questions. There are so many ways we can look at this question. Do we really know where we have been? If we look back, there seems to be a common goal, to be better, to progress. It started off with survival. First we were just surviving, and then more strategies and techniques arose to make survival a lot less of a problem. Now, in places like Coquitlam B.C. we don’t even worry about surviving, we have way bigger problems to deal with on a daily bases. Which makes me think. What if one day, all of the big problems in our lives such as school, work, and social problems, just don’t matter anymore? What Lies ahead?


Where are we going? It’s crazy that we think of any “new” things that will be made in the future, because then it isn’t new, you just thought of it. And as for what problems might make our current problems obsolete, it’s kind of a, we don’t know what we don’t know, situation. How can we know? Or, how don’t we know? Because on one hand, we can’t look too far into the future, but on the other hand, when we do look into the future a little, we are basically creating our future, or, what is now our present. One thing is certain though. We as humans are going to keep progressing, which is why this question is so interesting.

Parsons-Confederation Post #1

Dear Father,

April, 24, 1832

It’s me Robert. I have not written in a while so I thought this would be a good time. I am having a hard time right now, I’m sure you know that though. After I lost my seat in the election two years ago, things slowed down for me. I wasn’t a lawyer anymore, and even though I have still been working in politics, a lot of the things that I had been working for just ended in an uncanny stop. But I am keeping my head held high, at 28 years of age I still have a lot of time to make a difference in this land. Augusta and I are have another baby, which makes four. I know I need to stay strong for my family. I do not agree with some of the ways of some of the people in charge. I can change their ways thought, or help to. I am, as I know you are father, ready and willing to change the way minority groups are treated. I have a pretty loose friendship with Lower Canada that I am looking to tighten. I also want to hear about you, contact me back very soon.

-Robert Baldwin