Robert P. Wells takes the Oath of Elder Anishinabek by sharing the stories of survivors, recounting historic wrongs, calling for responsibility
ONTARIO, CANADA, Feb. 15, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ – At the age of nine, Robert P. Wells made a sacred promise to his friend, an Anishinabek elder named Moochum Joe, vowing to tell on paper just how his kind is horrible treaties of the natives. With “Wawahte,” Wells fulfills this oath and shares the stories of those who survived Canada’s residential schools.
His memory is important and plunges into a painful period of the past. Events that remain relevant today, with repercussions that are still felt today. As The Conversation reports: In January 2020, the Canadian government accepted claims for a billion dollar settlement with reserve school survivors, a settlement that came after lengthy legal battles. It is estimated that over the years approximately 200,000 Aboriginal children were forced to attend these Indian Day Schools which operated on First Nations reserves in all provinces of Canada from the mid-1800s until 2000. These were funded by the Canadian government, but managed primarily by the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist churches as well as by the United Church of Canada later.
According to Wells, many Canadians are now familiar with the harsh realities of these residential schools as well as Indian hospitals and the “Sixties Scoop.” In addition, there is a growing awareness of the persistent cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women, and of how the Indian Act and the Indian reserve system have been repressive to both communities and individuals. But Wells’ work goes beyond that, with the intention of promoting true reconciliation, which he recognizes is not an event but in the concentrated effort to find things that can be done to right the wrongs of the past. .
This awareness came to him very early on. He tells how his white Christian parents and Moochum Joe passed on crucial lessons. According to Wells, most of his fellow human beings dismissed the Elder as an “illiterate and lazy old Indian,” but he was Wells’ dear friend and teacher who imparted to him a respect for all life, the great ancestral hunters and spirits. of the forest. This realization of humanity’s connection to nature, no more and no less than that, contrasted with what Wells describes as the white notion that Canada defied the wilderness with an imperialist and divine right to set aside the native residents. Wells says that in hindsight, there was no consideration for human and environmental legacy. Now he aims to share his understanding with readers around the world in order to avoid the costly follies of the past.
In the words of Dr. Chief Robert Joseph of Reconciliation Canada: “May all who read this book be enlightened forever. By shining a light on a dark part of our past, we have the chance to create a bright new day for aboriginal people and all Canadians. We will all know what happened and then we will realize that what is happening now and our vision for a future together is what really matters. Together we will stand up for what is right and the intent of residential schools and settlement will not happen again! “
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Wawahte: Stories of Residential School Survivors – FULL DOCUMENTARY