26! So I guess that means I’m almost half-way through the year. I’ve never written anything even remotely as consistently as this. I took a week off publishing when I was on vacation, and I’ve been ‘late’ a few times, but I have written something every week for going on half a year. I wish I had started this last year when the pandemic started, but I think it’ll be interesting (for me, anyway) to read this in a few years when hopefully we’re back to some semblance of normality.
751 more unmarked graves have been found at a residential school in Saskatchewan. This comes a few short weeks after 215 unmarked graves were found in a Kamloops residential school. No school should have a graveyard.
None of my friends seem shocked by this news. They’re sad, a bit numb, but they all seemed to know this was eventually going to happen.
One universal thing they all think is that we’re only just scratching the surface of this. There’s going to need to be a lot of soul searching in this country over the next little while. I encourage everyone (not just those north of the border because this isn’t just a Canada-problem) to read the executive summary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s findings. It’s a long document, but worth it. Here are some calls to actions from one small part of the report.
The work of the TRC has shown just how difficult the process of truth determination has been. Thousands of Survivors came forward and, in tears and with anger, shared their pain. They showed how humour, perseverance, and resilience got them through the hardest of times, and how life after the schools sometimes just got too hard. They came forward to share their stories, not just to ease their burden, but also to try to make things better for their children and their grandchildren.
Reconciliation is going to take hard work. People of all walks of life and at all levels of society will need to be willingly engaged. Reconciliation calls for personal action. People need to get to know each other. They need to learn how to speak to, and about, each other respectfully. They need to learn how to speak knowledgeably about the history of this country. And they need to ensure that their children learn how to do so as well. Reconciliation calls for group action.
The 2012 Vancouver Olympics Organizing Committee recognized, paid tribute to, and honoured the Four Host First Nations at all public events it organized. Clubs, sports teams, artists, musicians, writers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, judges, and politicians need to learn from that example of how to be more inclusive and more respectful, and how to engage more fully in the dialogue about reconciliation.
Reconciliation calls for community action. The City of Vancouver, British Columbia, proclaimed itself the City of Reconciliation. The City of Halifax, Nova Scotia, holds an annual parade and procession commemorating the 1761 Treaty of Peace and Friendship. Speeches are delivered and everyone who attends is feasted. The City of Wetaskiwin, Alberta, erected a sign at its outskirts with the city’s name written in Cree syllabics. Other communities can do similar things.
Reconciliation calls for federal, provincial, and territorial government action.
Reconciliation calls for national action.
The way we govern ourselves must change.
Laws must change.
Policies and programs must change.
The way we educate our children and ourselves must change.
The way we do business must change.
Thinking must change.
The way we talk to, and about, each other must change.
All Canadians must make a firm and lasting commitment to reconciliation to ensure that Canada is a country where our children and grandchildren can thrive.
For those of us in and around Vancouver, we’ll have seen signs that we’ll likely recognize as the traditional indigenous name for the place or landmark we’re on. Here’s how to pronounce some of them correctly.
A charts block plugin for WordPress. I haven’t checked the accessibility of these yet, but this looks like a good start!
For documentation-centric sites Automattic have published a WordPress plugin to automatically create a table of contents based on the headings structure of your page.
Radar is a taskbar utility that allows you to show metrics from any API you like. Cross-platform, too. Neat.