Every Child Matters
Posted on 30.09.2022
As shared by the Orange Shirt Society, “On this day of September 30th, we call upon humanity to listen with open ears to the stories of survivors and their families, and to remember those that didn’t make it.”
Through our work with listening to our indigenous clients, aboriginal lawyer friends and from our collective travels and conversations, we’re grateful for the many meaningful discussions we’ve been privileged to be involved in for many decades. One experience that connects all three generations of our MacCallum family was on our journey through Gwaii Haanas, Haida Gwaii last summer. One in particular was our time with Dede and Eric (and their grandchildren) at the Haida village site of K’uuna Llnagaay.
Dede, a Haida watchmen, shared oral history and cultural traditions of their land but also intimate stories of their lives as they’re all intertwined past, present and future. As an Elder, Dede embraces the role of educator and deeply values the time she spends on the sacred land walking the same paths of her ancestors. The most precious gift she shared is when she is hand in hand with her grandchildren walking the same paths.
Our MacCallum children also spent their own time with Dede and her family, as all the grandchildren sang songs and listened to her stories on the beach under the blue skies. The intimate time with Dede enriched the young MacCallum minds well beyond the classroom and gives a deeper meaning to the stories built upon the legacy of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad being shared through schools. Watching all the children play with their driftwood light sabres on a remote coastal beach gives hope for reconciliation for future generations.
As we reflect upon the theme of this year’s Truth and Reconciliation week “Remembering the Children”, we remember all the children who never returned home, and the education and opportunities for indigenous and non-indigenous together.
As said by former Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) Chair, The Honourable Murray Sinclair “Education is what got us into this mess and education is key to getting us out of it.”