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LETTER: Government should end legal battle

The Canadian government continues to fight a court action that they lost, appealing the decision of the court that found there was willful and reckless discrimination against Indigenous children.

It is hard to imagine that anyone who supports the rule of law and espouses reconciliation with Indigenous communities, can do so while actively fighting in court to deny this discrimination against Indigenous children.

Our Canadian courts ruled that there was willful and reckless discrimination against Indigenous youth, yet the Canadian government is refusing to accept the court decision. Our government has not yet stopped forcing Indigenous communities to fight a costly and heartbreaking legal battle, all the while talking about reconciliation.

Instead of turning their attention, and taxpayer funds, to solving the problem, by funding Indigenous schools to the same extent as for those who have immigrated to Canada, no matter how long ago; funding clean water for Indigenous communities; and funding homes that meet the needs of those communities, the government continues to discriminate against Indigenous families.

It is time to treat all Canadian citizens as equals, without discrimination of any kind. It is also time to stop removing Indigenous youth from their families, and instead provide education and counselling. Today’s parents, denied a normal family upbringing as a result of the residential schools, and the trauma and abandonment suffered there, are unable to model what they did not experience. Providing counselling may help them to understand what they, themselves, were denied.

The generational trauma was a direct result of the intentional genocide by the government of Canada. Until the Canadian government recognizes the harm to Indigenous family life, and is prepared to work on these issues that flow directly as a result of government actions long ago, I doubt reconciliation is possible.

Roberta Marshman

Saanich