National Indigenous Peoples Day
Today is Indigenous Peoples Day.A day to learn about the heritage and history of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis of Canada.
A few years ago, I was looking for inspiration for a work about Trois-Rivières.The story we learned in school is quite simple.Sieur de Laviolette is said to have founded Trois-Rivières in 1634.
And as a child, if we lingered on "the front", all that came to mind was a bundle of trees and a void.
The only traces of this Laviolette are in a text called Le Catalog des Trépassez at the place called Trois-Rivières.
Champlain had commissioned him to drive a boat containing settlers and equipment.One can find more glorious as a founder.Why did you send him to lead a frail skiff?Simply because Trois-Rivières was not entirely empty.There was even an Aboriginal village from the Innu Nation on site.Its leader, whom the French called Capitanal, was much appreciated by Champlain.He was also buried near the Trois-Rivières house according to his wishes.
Capitanal wanted a lasting relationship with the French.Their protection and the ensuing trade were favorable to both groups.Champlain then sent Laviolette to him.
I have the vision that at a time of social and political upheaval, Quebec experienced its Lateran Council.A need to regroup French Canadians under a single symbol was felt and heroes were brought out of the shadows while others were hidden.This is how the Laviolettes, Dollard-des-Ormeaux and Madeleine de Verchère appeared because what better than the terrible natives to create a beautiful contrast.
As the horrors we uncover unfolded, the children learned to classify natives as one does with animals and memorize the name of a rower leader.
The last residential school closed in 1996.I was 16 years old.How many adults have taught me the biased facts of my story and how confused my perceptions have been?
The generation of our children will be among the first to experience a renewal.To review history without its psychological boundaries, without its nationalist symbols and its desire to train its citizens.They will benefit from the shortcuts that we did not have.
It is humbly that I ask forgiveness, for having believed and carried with me all this ignorance transformed into hatred.