Story of one Cowichan man
One of our Elders commented “truth and reconciliation” are very big words.
I was five years old when I was taken away from my parents to attend Kuper Island Indian Residential School. I was scared and cried lots for my Mom and Dad.
My parents would end up in jail if they did not allow me to go. I was very petrified of what was happening to me — the thing is I didn’t know what was going on — it did not feel right.
I was hungry many a day at this school, porridge very watery, the milk was sour and very lumpy. I was slapped by the supervisor of the dorm many a night for crying for my home many a time I was called a “stupid little Indian”; my ears discharged and I went deaf for quite some time.
The spirit of this little boy was deeply dismantled — I was silent for too long. I was sexually abused in this school, I was totally lost, scared and petrified. I cried some more — that’s all I knew how to do.
To those who govern this country, are they willing to look at that big word “TRUTH”, to act and implement?
The journey of this country was to kill the Indian in the child. The heart and soul of our Ancestors and Elders the Hul’ q’uminum mother tongue was torn away — the life of our culture and traditions were burnt with words and law of this country.
Too long I have been compressed and suppressed. For as long I am governed by the Indian Act, I will always be a second class citizen of this country. I don’t own my own house or land. I will not be a subject to what is referred to as royalty. I am learning and healing and making every effort for the truth to be heard. I hope these next celebrations of this country will be a better journey for you and I.
At least our young deserve all of the best and strength of who they truly are — let us all reconcile for this moment for what is true.