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When it comes to Indigenous reconciliation, the Liberals have not kept their promises – The Globe and Mail

September 14, 2021

Jody Wilson-Raybould most recently served as the independent member of Parliament for Vancouver Granville. Her latest book, “Indian” in the Cabinet: Speaking Truth to Power, from which this essay is adapted, was published today.

We do not know exactly when my grandmother was born, but we guess it was around 1910. The only records of her birth were destroyed because of fires over the years. She was the oldest of seven kids. At the age of 9, she was sent to residential school with her younger sister, Alice, who was 8. At the time in our territory, it was typical for Indian agents to just show up in a boat and take the kids away. Her father wanted to avoid that, so he brought his children to Alert Bay himself, where he bought them some clothes and then dropped them off at St. Michael’s Indian Residential School; they were going to be forced to go one way or another. In 1990, my granny was recorded by my older sister Kory Wilson telling stories of many aspects of her life, including her first day in residential school. Of course, many generations of Indigenous peoples from across the country have stories of their experiences in these schools, many of which were heard by Canadians through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report. My granny passed away before the commission did its work, and I am grateful to have her recollections recorded.

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