This week the Canadian Government officially apologized to the survivors of the Residence School’s. I was lucky enough to be in Ottawa on the day that this was happening for work and fully took the opportunity to witness this historic event.
Walking to The Hill, a sunny day with the city alive, full of people going about their daily activities. I walked onto The Hill with 10 or 15 minutes to spare, the sound of drums and hand beats growing as I got closer. A large screen set up for all those who couldn’t fit into the ante chambers provided in the house and chairs in the middle walkway. I settle down on some grass, in front of the screen. Around me two or three hundred people start to amass to witness this event. This great acceptance of our own failabilty and our ability to admit it.
Everyone in the crowd talked peaceably, no one checking thier watch, no one hurried or exicited. A great air of respect was prevelant. All who were present were clearly there to simply join in the Canadian tradtion of acceptance.
It was an incredible feeling to sit on Parliament Hill, under The Peace Tower, a symbol of national honor to all those who have fallen before us and all those who will fall for us and watch a nation say sorry. The crowed amassed, each individual all there for the same reason. Tears falling slowly down a couple women’s faces, children playing throughout the crowd and everyone silent. Listening and appreciating.
Sometimes I feel that the perception of being Canadian is to be unassuming, quiet and slightly obscure. That day I felt to be Canadian was to stand up and speak against harm, against inhuman acts, most of all against our own mistakes. We may not say too much very loudly, but when we do it resonates stronger that anyone could possibly imagine.
If you are not informed on this unfortunate atrocity in our Canadian past, I would have no problem saying it is your civic duty to recity that.
“If I have been of service, if I have glimpsed more of the nature and essence of ultimate good, if I am inspired to reach wider horizons of thought and action, if I am at peace with myself, it has been a successful day.” Alex Noble