Journey To Reconciliation

The infographic I created demonstrates how the Residential School system created an identity crisis to all Indigenous people by “taking the Indian out of the child”. My my visual representation features four photos that I took. Each photo demonstrates different points of the Indigenous children’s lives in Residential Schools. Such as how over time  they lost their link to their culture and identity, as stated in the Truth and Reconciliation booklet. 

In the first photo, you can see that there are three cups of water dyed with food colouring. These represent Indigenous children before their attendance in Residential Schools. In the second photo, the cups are still filled with the same water coloured by food dye, but you can see that I am using a dropper and adding in another substance. This substance is bleach and is used to represent all of the harmful (toxic) wrong-doings that the Indigenous children endured while in Residential Schools. These wrong-doings include many forms of abuse, cultural genoside, loss of language and tradition. The third photo in the infographic I created reveals what these wrong-doings did to the students. The cups of food dyed water is dull and faded, much like the connection of their identity and place in the world. Not only are the cups dull and faded but they are filled with the toxicity of the bleach. This is something that cannot be taken out, only diluted. This resembles how the impacts of Residential Schools are carried on through generations and can never be erased from Canadian history. My last and final photo shows that after time and more drops of bleach the cups of water have almost completely lost their colour. 

These once colourful cups of water are now consumed with toxins and remotely “lifeless”. Something that a simple apology cannot fix. Just as the Truth and Reconciliation booklet supports, the Canadian Government’s apology though, impactful cannot fix all of the repercussions that the residential schools created.

This is a great booklet that explores several discussion pieces that can be used independently or in group work within a classroom!

Via Canadian Teacher Federation

Pages one through six in the Truth and Reconciliation booklet made me reflect on my job as a Canadian. I came to the realization that there is a common mind set that Indigenous people need to just “forgive and forget”. With this mindset, so such reconciliation will ever be seen. If Canada wants to portray tagline of“peaceful, developed, safe reputation” (pg. 4) then it is our job as Canadians to recognize and face the truth as to what happened in Residential Schools. However, recognizing the truth is not enough, we must provide support and work alongside each other in hopes of rebuilding a healthy relationship with our fellow Canadians.