U of M profs respond to TRC editorial
A group of University of Manitoba professors is taking issue with an editorial in the National Post that suggests the Truth and Reconciliation Commission exaggerated the harms of residential schools in its summary report. The U of M scholars have composed a letter outlining their objections to the original National Post editorial written by Hymie Rubenstein and Rodney Clifton.
The following is an excerpt from that letter:
“Rubenstein’s and Clifton’s remarks echo the insensitivity and moral inattention the TRC is attempting to redress. They lean on a half-baked understanding of what genocide is and show little evidence of having read the TRC’s report. They assume the role of arbiters in an unsavoury competition for the mantle of true victimhood and bizarrely equate the boarding school experiences of Indigenous children with those of immigrants and the wealthy. Their editorial also ignores the substantial historical record and places heavy weight on the authors’ own anecdotal experience from late in the IRS era. It also minimizes the high death tolls and abuse occurring in IRS as simply common features of an earlier era of schooling and portrays the stripping away and denigration of indigenous languages, beliefs and cultural practices as somehow good for Aboriginal children. To suggest that others are reinforcing half-truths is to misunderstand the concept of truth itself. It also shows a lack of willingness to engage in a process of reconciliation by accepting the truths of others or truths that may be difficult to admit.”
The full letter has been published by the Centre for Human Rights Research.