As we race home, the kilometres clicking, stock markets dipping, politicians promising brighter futures in radio sound bites, Lynn reads from the Truth and Reconciliationâ€™s (TRC) 388 page report â€śHonouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Futureâ€ť. As an official document â€“ itâ€™s surprisingly digestible. As a record of Canadaâ€™s history â€“ itâ€™s deeply troubling.
As we drive south, mists rising off the lakes surround the hills. It has an otherworldly effectâ€”making me feel like the world weâ€™re leaving is an unreal, distant, a dream that disappears like smoke once daylight arrives.
Passing through hour after hour of northern forests it might be easy to think thereâ€™s a limitless supply of timber. It could be easy to forget the living nightmare the people of Grassy Narrows have shared with us. Return to my same old ways of getting by, consuming energy and natural resources without a thought to the true costs of my living.
I remember what Larry Morrissette, who talked to us about de-colonization in Winnipeg, said about Development. â€śYou flush the toilet â€“ and somebody else gets the shit.â€ť
We have short memories when it comes to such things. The 1996 Royal Commission covered much of the same territory as the TRC report. It made many of the same recommendations. Most of which were conveniently disregarded by those in power and forgotten by the general public.
This TRC document however, is soaked in the tears of the Residential School survivors. The TRC heard over 6,000 stories. Many heartbreaking accounts are captured in the pages. In addition to the hard cold truths of how we made â€śour home on native lands,â€ť it documents the human costs. The truth is that the â€śtrue northâ€ť is neither strong nor free.