Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of July 14, 2008
Actions pave way to reconciliation
Native leader says saving gift 'taught me to be kinder with my mouth'
By GLEN ARGAN
Hodgson said she appreciated the apology Lavoie's order, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, gave many years ago for their treatment of aboriginal people.
"The Oblates apologized. That's nice," she said. "Sylvain speaking Cree - that's what really makes it nice."
It showed that Lavoie wants to have a relationship with native people and that he believes that French and English are not superior to aboriginal languages, she said.
"Apologies are nice; actions are much better."
Lavoie recalled being angry with his father for 15 years because of his workaholism and for how he raised his children. They argued about everything, including the Bible.
But then he began to realize how poorly he had treated his father. Then one day when he criticized the cook for how she made a meal, he understood that he was being as critical as his father had been.
"I went to him and said I was sorry," Lavoie said. "We had two good years together" before his father died.
Hodgson said that to think reconciliation is only the work of the living is egotistical.
Recently, the Government of Canada apologized to aboriginal people for how they were treated in residential schools.
Hodgson, who was present for the apology in the House of Commons, said a native elder told the aboriginal group beforehand that their ancestors would be present with them for the apology.
"The House of Commons at that moment became like a cathedral," she said. "Not because of (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper. But because of all the grandmothers and grandfathers who filled that House of Commons."
Deceased grandparents will help people through their times of reconciliation, she said.
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