What started out as $70 million in reparations for the suffering caused by Catholic residential schools was whittled down to $16 million by the Catholic Church. Michael William McDonald, a lawyer from Sipekne’katik explains how that happened. “Compensation must be sufficient to provide healing,” he writes, “perhaps then we can find the right path to reconciliation.”

Nova Scotia indie filmmaker Ann Verrall often makes movies and documentaries collaborating with youths , and she’s really good at it. What’s with that Treaty? is a great example. The video was made by students of We’koqma’q Mi’kmaq School in Cape Breton during a 5-day video intensive. Students document Treaty Day activities, Orange Shirt Day, meet with elders Joe Googoo, Magit Poulette, Ben Sylliboy, and Malglit Pelletier, and explore Treaty Education. Students also talk about the impact of residential school on them. 

Poet and writer Joanne Bealy went to the Kent Monkman talk at the Central Library, and learned some hard lessons about white privilege and complicity, not just from Monkman but especially from two Black women.

These two video fragments of the great Mi’kmaw poet Rita Joe are definitely worth a look. Check out the last interview with Rita Joe before her death, and her memories of leaving the Shubenacadie Residential School behind forever.

Nova Scotia definitely has made progress in terms of teaching students about Indian Residential Schools, treaties, and the contributions made by First Nations, Inuit and Métis to Canada. But there is much more work to do, and a petition with 1700 signatures delivered at Province House yesterday serves as a reminder. Teaching the teachers would be a good start, says KAIROS Atlantic.