Amid all the pomp and pageantry around the Indigenous delegation in Rome to meet the Pope, inter-generational impacts from residential schools continue to reverberate throughout the north with deadly effect. Some of it fell on my family’s lap today.

The anger and rage that so many people deny, still burns deep inside survivors and their families. There is no doubt we benefited from the education they gave us, but the price we paid was dear.

We continue to hit number one with the bullet in highest incarceration rates, highest infant mortality rates, highest levels of unemployment, highest dropout rates, ad nauseam.

An apology from the Pope is going to appease the politicians; but the masses still burning from that historical trauma? He might as well have burped.

What will register is seeing their own kind crawl out of the ghetto, shake themselves off, and get on with the business of living. They need to see their own people leading healthy and productive lifestyle, free of hate and anger, and death, and addiction. They need to see strong Indigenous people with the backbone to withstand the rigours of life.

The ball is in our court and the world is watching.

Now let’s get to work.

Dennis Allen


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