I read a caption that noted ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’; and that is where we as survivors are today.

I believe that the leaders within the federal government along with the Roman Catholics could have better harmonized their wish in beginning the journey of healing and reconciliation if both entities would have spoken their respective apologies at the same time.

Twelve years after the Prime Minister issued his moving apology, the pope finally acknowledged the dilemma of Indigenous peoples. The Inuvialuit, Dene, Metis and Inuit/Innu were not the only affected groups but also the Australians, South Americans and many other groups. The ramifications behind the genocide and attempted assimilation has damaged several generations and we are still here but deeply wounded.

The biggest cover-up that is very visible today is the numbing approach with alcohol and drugs. This only works for the moment but adds more pain and complication to the mental and emotional state of each individual, not to mention the side effects of these substances on the health and well-being. Soon cannabis becomes familiar and acclimatized within the metabolism and stronger substance is looked for further disabling the user. As caregivers, we need to be vigilant in constructive measures and not allow destructive activity in defeating survivors.

When we mention a user or survivor, it is not saying one person only, we are talking about their partner, spouse, child, children, parents, grandparents and those they call friends.

Do we care enough to ask for some time with the distraught? Is there enough empathy within us to reach out? How can we be so busy that we didn’t realize how much is taken in, or recognize the body language of one in desperation?

Let’s allow good thoughts and goodwill by being open, welcoming and inclusive.

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