Removal of children from homes
Removal from nature
Removal from culture
Removal from Language, customs and practice
Removal from everything they have ever known
Removal from love
I cannot think of the pain and horror of those lost and those who survived
Without tears welling up, without anger entering my heart
Tears are cleansing so we do not deny them
But we rise above the anger because your treatment of us in the past cannot control us today
That was the very intent of the residential school system
To control us, to take away who we are
And it did not work then and it will not work now
Today and every day we remember who we are
Today and every day we remember those stolen
Today and every day we remember those who never returned
Today and every day we remember those who lived through the residential school system
And those who live through it still

Giima R. Stacey Laforme