On Residential Schools

On Residential Schools

Take a moment to read a poem by Dr. Cheryl Bear, First United’s Director of Community Ministry. Cheryl wrote the poem in response to the bodies of 215 children discovered in May 2021 at Kamloops Residential School in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation territory.

CW: residential schools, trauma, grief

take your time
take days
sit with the grief
of these
daunting days
sit with her
and let her weep
let her crawl
into bed
way too early
and out of bed
way too late
let her cancel
all the
shopping trips
all the plans
and just sit
with her
stroke her hair
and tell her,
reassure her
that things
will get, no
are
getting better
even if they
are only won
in court battles
or through shaming
the government
into action
(shame, shame on them)
all of this work
was not in vain
every lecture
every slide
every chart
exposed the truth
and now
everyone can see
it took all of us
to get here,
to heal
to change
now it will take
all of us
again
to get there
to heal
to change
so our grandbabies
can truly be free
and can have
better days
and lives
and deaths

…words spoken on a tear soaked day, still reeling from the news and praying for our courageous and powerful Elders, our Residential School Survivors – for my late mom, my Aunties and Uncles, grandparents, for all our relations.

Sunday May 30, 2021

In peace,
Cheryl
(Nadleh Whut’en First Nation)
Director of Community Ministry, First United