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People hug during a vigil in a field where human remains were found in unmarked graves at the site of the former Marieval Indian Residential School on the Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan on June 26, 2021.


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Reconciliation reflections

Re A Call To Canadians: Help Us Find Every Burial Site (June 26): I was one of those who balked at the idea that Canada committed a type of genocide. However, I have now accepted this as the appropriate term.

As columnist Tanya Talaga outlines, Canada may not have slaughtered people like in other countries, but the country did intend to destroy Indigenous people through assimilation and forcibly transferring their children to residential schools. This type of behaviour is clearly covered by the Genocide Convention.

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I found the story of one little girl, who died at a residential school and has now been identified, particularly moving. I encourage more stories like this. I think it will help make this issue more personal for all Canadians.

Liz Tinker Toronto

I boarded for Grade 7 at Montreal’s Loyola High School in 1956-57. I turned 12 during the year.

George Epoch, a Jesuit, was my teacher. One day he asked me to stay after class alone. He closed the door, sat me on his knee, then hugged and kissed me. I never told anyone.

When I could search his name years later, I found that he became one of Canada’s most prolific pedophiles. The Jesuits should have been aware of his behaviour when they transferred him to Ontario Indigenous communities, where he abused over 120 children and died before he was exposed.

I was fortunate: I am white; I lived in a big city and went home on weekends. I can only imagine how awful it must have been for Indigenous children and those without family support or anyone to turn to.

Ron Foreman Toronto

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Re What Kind Of Canada Will We Decide To Be? (Opinion, June 26): When our leaders say there is no place for anti-X beliefs or behaviour here in Y town or city, I believe it suggests that all who have any anti-X beliefs should keep quiet. It results in “us” and “them,” each in their own echo chamber.

Canada’s multiculturalism has toned down tribalism, but not eliminated it. If each of us acknowledge any anti-X beliefs we hold – putting our cards on the table for discussion – we could have a fuller picture of who we First Nations and Canadians are on this journey “to live together in peace and friendship and to take care of one another as members of the human family” (It’s All Too Common For Indigenous Patients To Face Racism And Neglect – Opinion, June 26).

Michael Tukatsch Toronto

Re A Reckoning (Letters, June 26): A letter-writer wonders if there is a leader who would be equal to the task of reconciliation. I think we glimpsed such a person in Gord Downie.

The night the Tragically Hip singer called out the Prime Minister was the first time I understood what this issue even was. Prior to that, I was the typical clueless white guy. Since then, I’ve not heard a single white guy in this country say or do anything to match that moment.

Sorry if I may have overlooked a white woman in this matter. But if I did, whatever she did has been rather blitzed by the initiative of Jody Wilson-Raybould in calling out that very same Prime Minister.

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Jonathan Bishop Toronto

Canadian by birth?

Re I Am A Canadian Citizen. Why Can’t My Son Be One, Too? (Opinion, June 26): I agree with the changes made by the Harper government regarding citizenship. Why should citizens who do not live in Canada, and were not born in Canada, be able to pass on citizenship to their children and future generations, to take advantage of benefits funded by taxpayers?

Howard Arcand Richmond Hill, Ont.

My daughter was born in Sweden in 2009. Through me she has Canadian citizenship, but cannot pass it to her children if they are born abroad. As such, I consider hers to be a second-tier citizenship.

Our family moved back to Canada in 2010, so my daughter has lived all but her first year of life on Canadian soil. I inquired with the government whether I could “upgrade” her status, but was told there is no way for citizens to reapply for citizenship.

Ironically, my daughter would be better off if I hadn’t rushed to obtain Canadian citizenship-by-descent, but instead sponsored her as an immigrant. By now, she would have earned what I would call tier-one citizenship.

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This shows me how illogical and unfair the Harper government’s amendment is, and why it should change.

Elaine Chang Markham, Ont.

My grandfather was born in Britain, my father in Canada. While he was a British national, I am not, despite being partly educated there.

It is considered chic in some circles to have several nationalities. I have always been concerned where loyalties would then lie. Citizen of the world is an attractive moniker, but where is its practical sense?

If contributor Kelsey P. Norman and her son are keen on Canada, I suggest he come here, establish residency and, in a mere three years, he can apply for citizenship. Who knows, he might even value that more, rather than having it handed to him by descent.

D. B. Collins Victoria

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Oil country

Re Canada Needs Its Own Declaration Of Independence (Opinion, June 26): Canada’s largest natural resource is mostly captive to the U.S. market. This results in a valuable non-renewable commodity being sold at a 30-per-cent discount to global pricing which, in turn, makes Canada less independent.

Building a pipeline from coast to coast would quickly solve this problem. We should have independence now.

Robert Sillcox King City, Ont.

A classic

Re Dynamic Leader Built A World-renowned Orchestra (Obituary, June 26): I am saddened by the death of beloved violinist Jeanne Lamon.

I was initiated to her music and Tafelmusik by my late mother-in-law, who lived a block from Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church in Toronto. The cozy and warm atmosphere of the concert hall at the turn of the century is still a fond memory, rekindled from time to time.

In April, 2001, a war of words between her and violinist Pinchas Zukerman about period performance resulted in a four-day radio broadcast of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, one movement each day, comparing the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Tafelmusik’s recordings.

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On the last day, according to listener votes, the battle of the bands was clearly won by Ms. Lamon.

Albert Wong Toronto

Cryptic cruelty


Wendy LeBlanc Picton, Ont.

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here:

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