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Salish Sea Sentinel | June 7, 2023

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Taking Care of Our Own

Taking Care of Our Own

One of the most striking comments made by Tricia Thomas in her article Adopting an Indigenous World View on Pages 4-5 was: “There are more of our children in care now than at the height of the residential school system.” Think about that for a minute and then go on and read Tricia’s three stories about adoptions, residential schools and reclaiming culture on the six centre pages of this edition. It is depressing how little things have changed over the decades, but it is also encouraging to see the positive ways these big issues are being addressed in our communities.

Our hands are raised to advocates such as Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, BC’s uncompromising representative for children and youth. One can only hope that all our bureaucrats and politicians will learn from her. Praise must also go to leaders like Darren Blaney, the councillor and artist from Homalco. He raised a son who told the truth to his fellow students and created an artwork The Indian in the Child.  It will be an ongoing object lesson and teaching aid about the impacts of residential schools.

Tributes must also go to other Homalco leaders – such as Chief Maryann Enevoldsen and councillor Dorothy Andrew-Paul – who share their stories as the nation reintroduces youth to the deep traditions at a ‘cultural boot camp’ in the traditional territory around Bute Inlet.

Good things are happening; better days are coming. June 21 is National Aboriginal Day. Take some time to celebrate, and learn about, the vibrant cultures of those who first lived around the Salish Sea.