Thousands of people, indigenous and non-indigenous alike, thronged to the conference to tell and to hear tragic stories from victims of residential schools and the ensuing intergenerational trauma. Broken accounts of abuse, rape, addiction, suicide and violence punctuated the conference, striking to the core of many of the witnesses as evidenced by tears and wails of pain and sorrow. The resilience and courage of the Indigenous people, however, epitomized the TRC.
That is what this Truth and Reconciliation process is about—truth and memory. A truth about our country that is still relatively unknown, but one that must be revealed and remembered if we are to move forward as a nation in honesty and respect.
Clearly, the West has underestimated Putin’s resolve not to let the Ukraine buffer be brought unchallenged into the western sphere of influence. An absolutely bottom-line, non-negotiable issue is Russia’s access to its Black Sea port, which also has access to the Mediterranean. And that access happens to be in none other than the Crimea, at the port of Sevastopol.
Nearly four years ago, we gathered on a snowy day at Ancaster Christian Reformed Church to witness and celebrate the wedding of Tim and Sharlene Bosma, two people wonderfully suited for each other. Tim’s name is now a familiar one to many as his disappearance and murder last May broke our hearts, shocking our church and country.
All of the soldiers who committed suicide had served tours of duty in Afghanistan, which has raised the level of debate about how to support veterans as they transition from military to civilian life. The discussion remains focused on psychological issues and their apparent solutions: mainly, mental health services and improved job prospects, such as special employment programs.
But the spiritual dimension has been missing from the public discussion so far, and without it, successful reintegration cannot happen.
Arlette Zinck, an Associate Professor of English at King’s, has befriended and become a teacher for Omar Khadr, who was captured at age 15 in 2002 after a firefight with U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Radwan and his family could never have imagined this.
Prior to 2012 they were, like most Syrians, living in what they thought was relative stability and comfort in their homeland. Of course there were problems — an oppressive government and the rumblings of the “Arab Spring” in particular — but as they watched Iraq crumble to the east and Lebanon’s government dissolve to the west, Syria seemed like a safe haven.
Then civil war broke out.