Now The Struggle Has A Name references


"Now, the apology done..."
"...some truth some reconciliation..."

One of Canada's greatest shames, residential schools stained governments of all political stripes and generations of Canadians who remained silent.

For the better part of the Twentieth century, the Canadian government forcibly removed Indigenous children from their homes and sent them to boarding schools to be assimilated into "southern culture."

The emotional toll of total separation was felt by both children and parents. Despondency and alcoholism rose in conjunction with the removal of children from First Nations communities.

The Residential School system had horrific unintended consequences. The schools were designed to "kill the Indian in the child," they were populated by many kidnapped 'students,' and became sad prisons of abuse and suicide. The odds of dying in World War Two were 1 in 26 for Canadian soldiers. The odds of dying in Residential Schools were 1 in 25 for Canadian children. Let that sink in. We did that.

Physical, psychological and sexual abuses were not uncommon in many of the government sponsored and church run schools. In 2008, the Canadian government formally apologized to Indigenous Canadians and committed to reparations and a truth and reconciliation process modeled on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

"...Oh Honey Watson, we were born with sin"
"...Gone, like Honey Watson"

CBC Radio host Alan Neal e-mailed Gord Downie and discovered the following:

Downie was watching a CBC news story about Residential Schools which prompted him to write a song on the subject. When the story ended, the newscast shifted to a story about Haiti by correspondent Connie Watson. Gord misheard the name as "Honey Watson," thought it was cool, and wrote it down. Thanks to Miguel and Melissa and Erika Range for letting me know and to Alan Neal for finally getting to the bottom of this.