Across Canada, flags have flown at half-mast for the entire month of June, honouring children who died at residential schools. As we prepared for the month of June 2021, we knew there would be activities to recognize Indigenous History Month and Pride Month. It turns out the entire month has been shaped by the tragedies that have spurred our collective conscience. It was in late May that leaders in Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, British Columbia, announced the discovery of a mass grave with the remains of 215 children at the site of a former residential school.
They were 215 children. The children had names. They had parents. They had a future. The children were taken from their homes and forced to participate in an institution that was designed to control them; to assimilate them into the dominant culture; to separate them from their land, their language, and their lineage. They include children as young as three years of age.
What if all health sciences students were educated together?
By Erna Snelgrove-Clarke and Jane Philpott
Six months ago, Joyce Echaquan, a 37-year-old Atikamekw woman, died in a Quebec hospital. Her cries for help were ignored by hospital staff but have now resounded across Canada. They served as a wake-up call for health systems, health professionals, and the institutions that train nurses, doctors, and rehabilitation therapists. When systemic racism is so grievous that it causes death, no one should turn a blind eye.
But we did not get here suddenly. This did not happen in isolation.