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Indigenous community gathers in Tiny Township to educate, grieve and heal

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In Governance
Jul 2nd, 2021
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John Hawke, an Indigenous rights activist and Beausoleil First Nation resident, organized an event in Thunder Beach on July 1. His goal is to create unity among Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents and work towards truth and reconcilation. – Andrew Mendler/Metroland

From Simcoe.com July 2, 2021
By Andrew Mendler

Hundreds of people – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – gathered at Thunder Beach on Canada Day, but there was no celebration.

Orange ‘Every Child Matters’ t-shirts were worn by most of the more than 300 people who showed up to McNamara Memorial Park. There was no red.

A lone Canadian flag flew at half-mast – and was outnumbered by Indigenous flags and banners.

“I wanted to have this event so we could educate each other, instead of continuing on our past ways of division,” said John Hawke, an Indigenous Rights Activist and Beausoleil First Nation resident, who organized the event.

“You can’t have truth and reconciliation without the truth. We want to bring the true history of Canada out.”

This year 1,148 unmarked graves have been discovered on the grounds of three former residential schools. The sites of more than 130 former schools have yet to be searched.

“Every single First Nation, Metis and Inuit is either a residential school survivor, a survivor’s child, a survivor’s grandchild, a survivor’s great-grandchild, or all three,” said Angeline Sandy, a Beausoleil First Nation resident who spoke about inter-generational trauma.

Residential schools were funded by the federal government and run by the Catholic church. The goal was to assimilate Indigenous children into the Canadian culture.

An estimated 150,000 Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their homes and sent to residential schools all across Canada. Many children didn’t return home and many of the ones who did return were traumatized from the experience.

“Inter-generational trauma is passed down to each and every one of us within our Indigenous families,” said Sandy. “I am 33 years-old and what I have learned is that what was suffered within residential schools carried into the next generation and so on.”

“I am proud that this many people came and showed support,” said Sandy. “We are all still grieving. We are still finding more Indigenous children. It’s ongoing.”

See original article here

One Response to “Indigenous community gathers in Tiny Township to educate, grieve and heal”

  1. John Morgan says:

    I know that John does not speak often of himself but people should know how he has been abused and embarrassed by our judicial system; OPP and courts. His cultural compound at Awenda Park was illegally destroyed by park employees, he was arrested under false pretences, and continually harassed by settler law enforcement. On July 1st of this year, he organized an event at the park at Thunder Beach and educated about 300, many of them settlers, who learned Indigenous history and abuse inflicted on the Indigenous folk living and vacationing on Indigenous land. The John we saw on the 1st was. a big teddy bear,trying to set Canada’s false identity straight and with the help of Kwe, other elders and many Indigenous children, he did just that. An awakening for our ignorant settler population.
    John you are a positive role model and should be recognized for who you are, a true knowledge keeper. An Indigenous leader of great report. Thank for what you have done and what you continue to do.

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