To the editor:
In the summers of 2002 and 2003, I went to many First Nations reserves in Ontario and Quebec. I visited the Woodlands Cultural Centre on the grounds of the Anglican Mohawk Residential School in Brantford, Ontario. Little did I know that, on the grounds of this former Indian boarding school, there would be hundreds of hidden and unmarked burials that would finally be reported in Canadian newspapers in October 2011. A separate website showed numerous boarding schools from British Columbia to Nova Scotia with potential burial areas.
Like the U.S., Canada allowed religious denominations to run these schools. Canadian officials have been dealing with hundreds of abuse cases up into the 1980s. Currently, the Canadian government is in cover-up mode.
In the last decade, indigenous people here have spoken of children lost in the past at Indian boarding schools. They have asserted the existence of dump areas on the campuses of Indian boarding schools in the U.S., including Haskell. It is a shame that bones will most likely be unearthed in the process of road building. Such is the tragedy in a tone-deaf society.
The Klallam people know this all too well. The Washington Department of Transportation desecrated a village site and burial area after the people pleaded for them to stop. The Klallam people recovered their ancestors in boxes at a warehouse. The state of Washington paid millions in damages and land was set aside to rebury the ancestors.
Do some people ever learn respect?