Give a positive view of residential schools

June 18, 2012

I was somewhat surprised and saddened by the opening paragraphs of the article by Michael Swan (WCR June 11) on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

The tenor of the article and its assumptions would, I think, be more at home in the liberal press than in a Catholic paper. What I found most disagreeable was the use of the term "residential school survivors."

This choice of words is a construct of the liberal media to afford an implicit comparison to the Holocaust, not for the aid of the native community but to denigrate the efforts of countless well-meaning religious.

Much has been written about the residential schools and their problems and much more will be written. What I would hope to see in the WCR is a more balanced assessment of the subject.

When will we hear from the countless people who attended residential schools and said, as I heard of one lady saying, "Those were the happiest days of my life."

Any discussion of the issue in a Catholic paper should not go on without a mention of Rose Price to whom I owe much. She was a member of the Carrier Nation and attended the Lejac Residential School at Fraser Lake in British Columbia.

She stayed on at the school she loved after she graduated. She died in 1949 and when her grave was opened in 1951, her body was found to be incorrupt. That is what we should be reading about residential schools in a catholic paper.

One may lament the disappearance of native culture but knowledge of Christ is of much greater importance.

David Laurence