Dear KES Family:
Canadians have a reputation for being friendly, kind, and generous. We are teased for saying “eh”, wearing “toques” in winter, and apologizing for frivolous things. Generations of Canadians have been taught that we are a “cultural mosaic”, which means that we are made up of a multitude of ethnic groups living together. Learning the truth about our country’s treatment of Indigenous people has not only wounded our hearts and national reputation but affected the way we see ourselves as well.
This Wednesday I was hiking up Mount Moses with a group of students and ended up chatting with a wonderful girl from Germany, Patricia Gerlach ‘23. Our conversation swung to the morning’s Truth and Reconciliation presentations. At one point, I mentioned how difficult it was for Canadians to learn about the residential schools for aboriginal children and what happened at them. Patricia was very sympathetic. She knew what I was feeling and exclaimed, “I think every nation has its dark history. Being from Germany I know what this feels like.”
What followed was a meaningful discussion on Reverend Curry’s assertion that morning about how one cannot confess sins for someone else, even though we feel the effects of their misdeeds. Patricia was clear that we have an obligation to ensure that bad things from the past are not repeated.
I would like to think that this week’s reflections on Truth and Reconciliation have provided all Canadians the opportunity to improve. I also hope that the sadness we have been feeling does not become yet another burden that generations of Canadian youth must shoulder. When the time comes to raise our flags again, I trust that we can do so proudly.
Click here for this week's photos.