White Boy and Madeleine Dion Stout’s A Survivor Reflects on Resilience

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Drew Hayden Taylor in his article ‘Cry me a river, white boy’ considered about the apologies made to the Aboriginal communities all over the country, which were in a very long time for coming and they, as he supposes, might be perceived as sincere, though it sounds naïve when a person takes them serious. At least the author considers that something is still better than nothing. The article begins with the analysis of the words by Prime Minister Stephen Harper that were delivered in the House of Commons to the Survivors of residential school system of Canada, he actually cited the immortal words of a singer named Brenda Lee pronouncing. “We are sorry.” He was expressing the general apologies to all Aboriginal people, who were listening to him standing in front of Parliament buildings. Drew Taylor suggests facts that 150,000 Aboriginal children were taken away by force from their homes, transported to schools and diffused across several provinces and two huge territories.

And there, their beliefs, their culture, their language, their self-respect, and, in some cases, their very life were taken from them to make them seem more Canadian-like. The author writes that a lot of people were anxious about Aboriginal issues, but still, they made no excuses. As for example, it was with Prime Minister Paul Martin from Liberal government. Drew Taylor mentions that his kind of apologizing was not important for Liberals on their to-do list. And besides, he gives the fact that these were the Conservatives who gave the Aboriginal people the right to vote in 1960. Despite the fact that a lot of people might argue that the Conservatives of old-school were quite different from the new party, the author considers their leader to be more honest. But still, according to Drew Taylor, a lot of people might have been quite cynical about the frankness of the apology and they have the right not to believe in it, because most of those who were watching were the members of residential schools. At the end of the article, the author states that making an apology doesn’t mean that the “Aboriginal problem” was solved; it is just closing the page of residential schools.

The second article “A survivor reflects on Resilience” by Madeleine Dion Stout deals with the personal experience of the author who has been in residential schools. The author writes about the colonization, the process of healing and the very resilience because they revealed themselves to her. She was the representative of those who suffered from real risk factors, among them starvation, desolation, physical and sexual abuse, premature death. And according to Madeleine Stout, only resilience was their true friend. Their parents believed that healing had begun in residential schools.

Then the author explains that the healing started for her when she actually lived a second-hand love. The children were catching the obvious affection between their teacher who was a Cree woman and her suitor. The children could feel the love as she was beaming at them when he beamed at her. It was so, because infants were deprived of love. The author states that healing is the mid-section of the process with colonization being on the one hand and the resilience on the other. According to Madeleine Dion Stout such people who suffered all that, can live the moment and save residential schools as monuments, and even are able to make films about them, because they have a purpose to reveal the truth. People are trying to work together in common affords to keep this considerable healing work going on. The author is sure that all those should be passionately thankful to their ancestors, Brothers and Sisters for all affords in the healing process that will be definitely transformative when we look back later.

Two authors show us the situation about residential schools and Aboriginal people who were suffering in them. Drew Hayden Taylor deals more with governmental guidelines and apologies of Canadian leaders. Madeleine Dion Stout tells about her personal experience in residential school, shows the situation from the inside and explains that those victims tried to deal with the situation themselves and help others. The topic shouldn’t leave anyone indifferent, as the problem wasn’t solved till the end, and we cannot put the dot yet.

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White Boy and Madeleine Dion Stout’s A Survivor Reflects on Resilience. (2023, May 18). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/white-boy-and-madeleine-dion-stouts-a-survivor-reflects-on-resilience/

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