The Kim Wheeler Show for June 25, 2021

Since the first announcement of unmarked graves of Indigenous children were located at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, more First Nations have come forward to remind Canadians about other unmarked graves in schools across the country.

I say ‘remind’ because Survivors have told these stories, these truths, but it seems Canada wasn’t listening. And until they start listening to our truths, we will never reach the reconciliation part.

Cowessess First Nation has announced 751 unmarked graves were found on the former grounds of the Marieval Indian Residential School. The work to scour the land with ground-penetrating radar began three weeks ago, right after Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation told their story of 215 unmarked graves of children at the Kamloops residential school.

Which non-Indigenous school do you know ever had a graveyard?

We knew more announcements like this were coming. But it isn’t any less painful. Our community is reeling at the loss of these children — with the knowledge that there is still more to come.

It’s going to be a long summer.

I’ve been seeing a lot of conversations lately about Canada Day — July 1st is fast approaching. There are a lot of mixed emotions but there are some people, towns and cities who have made their feelings clear. There will be no Canada Day celebrations this year. After all, what is there to celebrate? Some Canadians are beginning to realize this isn’t the country they thought it was. And it’s interesting to see them realizing this for the first time. For my non-Indigenous friends and family, they are starting to inform themselves and ask questions; and admit things they never knew, they never knew.

And while I am exhausted in answering some of these questions over and over, I also feel it’s important to keep the conversation going. Yes, they could pick up a book, read a news story, watch a documentary or film. But when you have meaningful conversations with those same people, maybe just maybe, one more person will have a better understanding of the true history of so-called Canada.

My guests this week are Shawnee Kish, a Two-Spirit Mohawk singer-songwriter and Adrian Sutherland. Adrian is the frontman for the band Midnight Shine but he has been working on some solo material during the pandemic.

If you are a residential school survivor or are Indigenous and affected by this and want to talk with someone the 24-hour Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419.

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