Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

"The Story of a National Crime" Tanka

This Brave New World, XIV

children's mass grave discovered
church burned down in the dark ...
Elders stare into the camera, at us

FYI: CBC News, July 6Catholic Church dedicated nearly $300M for buildings since promising residential school survivors $25M in 2005.... CBC compiled Catholic projects announced since promising 'best efforts' to survivors, paying them under $4M.

CBC News, June 29'Where is their soul?': Inside the failed push to make Catholic Church pay for its residential school abuses... Church officials hired one of Canada's top lawyers, who, in a private court hearing, successfully argued that the country's Catholic churches had tried their best and had no more to give.

Added: This Brave New World, XV

the oldest 
residential school defaced
in gathering dark
one hundred ninety years ago
children's screams into silence

Note: Dr. Peter Henderson Bryce, the chief medical health officer of the Department of Indian Affairs in 1907,  found that tuberculosis was ravaging the malnourished children at 20 times the rate of others, fuelled by dramatically unequal “Indian” health funding and poor health practices....

Canada refused to implement Bryce’s reforms and pushed him out of the public service in 1922 for refusing to stay quiet. That same year, Bryce walked onto the premises of Ottawa bookseller James Hope & Sons with his pamphlet, “The Story of a National Crime.” More headlines followed, but then the story died—and so did the children. Bryce died in 1932 and he was erased from Canada’s history. His family says his greatest lament was that “the work did not get done.” He must have felt like he, too, was screaming into silence.... 

-- Cindy Blackstock, "Screaming into silence," Maclean's, June 30