LETTER – A statement on reconciliation, ‘T7etsxem7nte re stselxmem’

(Image: OurTRU)

Reaction to the Colten Boushie verdict has reverberated throughout the country. On behalf of Thompson Rivers University, I extend sincere condolences to the Boushie family and friends and to the many people at TRU and across Canada, who are confused and heartsick at this time.

Dr. Alan Shaver.

We knew that the path to reconciliation would not be easy and it is tempting to feel that as a country, we have experienced a setback. However, I am convinced that we will successfully travel the path if we walk hand in hand. Now is the time for healing and for remembering that TRU’s motto, created in Secwepemcstin is “T7etsxem7nte re stselxmem” which means “to strive ahead.” Let us renew our determination to press forward together.

In closing, I include a poem by Senator Murray Sinclair, the Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and friend to TRU, in which he shares his feelings for us to read and understand.

Today I grieve for my country.
I grieve for a family
that has seen only injustice
from the moment a farmer with a handgun
(why does a farmer need a handgun?)
killed their son.
I grieve for a mother
who saw the police raid her house
and treat her like a criminal
and not the victim she was.
I grieve for other mothers
with empty arms
who are reminded of their own loss
at the hands of others.
and the lack of answers that haunt them still
I grieve for the youth
who now see no hope,
and whose hunger for justice
gives rise to anger.
I grieve for the children
whose lives now have
one more jeopardy.
I grieve for the elders
who have seen this before.


President and Vice-Chancellor,
Thompson Rivers University

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2 Comments on LETTER – A statement on reconciliation, ‘T7etsxem7nte re stselxmem’

  1. The divide between aboriginal folk and white? folk seems to be widening. I see no reconciliationI.I get very tired of hearing about all the horrible happenings at every residential school that ever was.Bad things did happen but not near as much as some would have you believe.Our religions were the worst thing that was foisted on a stone age people. There were more different languages in the Americas than anywhere and they spent a very large part of their time killing each other.We in “the west” are still doing it. It was a large part of their accepted culture.There was no possible way our two cultures could mix, so many well meaning people tried to bring them out of the stone age,with varying results.My mother in law,now gone,was a young English girl of 19 when she found employment at a residential school in Manitoba. She was one of the kindest people I,ve known. She married a Scottish Metis man,who was also a kind person.Fortunately the Metis did not live off the Govt. tit and had to make it on their own. All 12 of them did.
    I read an article once,many years ago in The Western Producer,a prarie farm paper, about an older native lady who told of her time in a residential school and how it was the best thing that ever happened to her. There are two sides to it all. We are besieged by the bad sides.I,m tired of hearing it. Will it never end? Who in gods name came up with this aboriginal alphabet.Probably some bleeding heart white. It also helps to divide us, To me it is unreadable and unpronouncable. .Another unsolvable human dilemma most of which are going to end badly.
    A native, as in ” belonging to a particular country by birth”

  2. Lorraine Winter // February 20, 2018 at 12:45 AM // Reply

    What a heartfelt letter — thank you Dr. Shaver! Senator Murray Sinclair’s words say it all. If not in the courtroom, Sinclair has at least given the Boushie family poetic justice.

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