Today, we are acknowledged in a way that we have fought so valiantly to get to. And although many of us did not make it to see this point in life, the families of those students are rejoicing today.

My mother and other relatives were students of the Indian Residential Schools that were set up here in Ontario, Canada. There were many stolen moments that many had to endure for years as a child because they were taken as early as four years old. They were not put in regular schools with all the other children. No. They were sent to a specific location where it was almost always secluded from society. It was far from home. I remember my family telling me that they had to travel by train to get to where their school was located.

It has been a long road to get to this day for Canada’s Indigenous people. And I watch our new Prime Minister speak on a podium, I shed tears because it means so much that a part of my life means something to him. I was not a student in the residential schools but my life was affected nonetheless. As we make this journey from the yesteryear of pain, one can only hope that it is the new beginning we so desperately have called for since the Truth and Reconciliation for Residential Schools first began.