Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Murray Sinclair?...Dim-Witt?

Murray Sinclair?...Dim-Witt?

"They (non-Aboriginal) deny, perhaps, because they're slow-minded and dim-witted,.." Murray Sinclair

So said Murray Sinclair, former Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) on a recent CBC broadcast of THE CURRENT with Anna Maria Tremonti.

Yes, there were some bad things that occurred at the former residential schools such as sexual, physical, and mental abuse. All well documented especially in the final report of the TRC once chaired by Murray Sinclair and who was subsequently “rewarded” with a Senate appointment.

As a Survivor of 13 years of residential school at Grollier Hall, a former residence operated by the Catholic Church and located in Inuvik, NT., I know very well the bad but for the sake of the whole truth, one must never deny the good also.

As we know, Sinclair is not a Survivor of residential school and may know of the experience but will never understand the full experience. Too bad. Anyway, he chose to, along with his Commissioners, to not tell the whole “truth” in his final TRC report. Instead, they focused on the negative for sure. Therefore, I have to side with Senator Lynn Beyak latest comments regarding the “good.”

“Obviously, the negative issues must be addressed, but it is unfortunate that they are sometimes magnified and considered more newsworthy than the abundance of good,” Beyak said.” Lynn Beyak, THESTAR.COM

Regarding the “good,” the Catholic Church at Grollier Hall supported a program of active sports including hockey, soccer, basketball, badminton, floor hockey, soft ball, snooker, and chess just to name a few. Our teams in those respective sports were very competitive against other teams and, in fact, captured a number of regional championships. However, the greatest “good” in sports the Catholic Church did support then was the Territorial Experimental Ski Training (TEST) program.

The late Father Mouchet
The TEST program was inspired by the late Catholic priest, Father Jean Marie Mouchet; thank God. Rest in peace my friend. Father Mouchet saw the “good” and potential of us natives to excel in the sport of cross country ski racing given our outdoor and active lifestyle and being natural athletes.

As a result of that program and while still attending Residential School, a number of Survivors were named to the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics. In fact, six of the nine members of Canada’s Olympic team were Aboriginal; isn’t that “good?”

TEST skiers of 1970; back then National Champs
and Canadian members of the 1972 Winter Olympics and
pictured with the late PM Pierre Trudeau.
I, myself, chose to participate in the TEST program and won a number of national junior championships and was the 1975 Canada Winter Games Champion in cross country skiing. Now, the legacy of “good” lives on as my boy, Jesse Cockney, was named to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and now competes on the World Cup circuit.

I see and read about the uproar of Lynn Beyak’s comments from a number of Aboriginal Leaders but it is quite understandable as they choose to ignore the whole truth.

I know the truth, I was there. Senator Sinclair could learn a lot by acknowledging the truth and like Senator Lynn Beyak should not be in denial.

Judging by the applause Sinclair receives, seems he's regarded as the god of "truth" when it comes to the experience of all residential school Survivors'

While he continues to deny the truth and not convey the good, he will not get my applause...who's the dim-witt here?
A young Angus Cockney, former National Champion and son, Jesse Cockney, 2014 Olympian. Thank you Father Mouchet; the Legacy of "good" continues.