Letter re: Witness Blanket coverage in June 21 Sounder

Tuesday, July 5 2016

This is a belated thank you VERY much for the article written by Jane Reddington about the RDN partnering with VIU to bring the Witness Blanket project in the fall to the VIU Art Gallery.

It will be so important for us all to see a tangible something to experience more closely some of the stories told to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  And huge thanks, credit, to Howard Houle for doing all he did to bring this Witness Blanket close enough for us all to see, to ponder again about this era.  His words, “…how is it all my life this could have been going on? My people were committing cultural genocide.”  So very true for most of us, and so hard to think about.

However, in 2016, we have not yet done anything to make life more humane in Attawapiskat, in Grassy Narrows or any of the other suffering First Nation communities, whose ghastly conditions get onto TV, the radio, the newspapers. We just hope the government will “fix it.”  When it doesn’t, if we write letters of indignation, still nothing happens. And we just leave it, hoping somehow something may get done.

Canada likes to be a multi-cultural country, generous to newcomers, welcoming to refugees. But it is pretty appalling to think the original people in Canada are treated as if they did not deserve at least as much consideration as the rest of us, with decent housing, clean water, edible food.

~ Kit Szanto