never did exist; “this relationship is marked by crushing colonialism, attempted genocide, wars, massacres, theft of land and resources, broken treaties, broken promises, abuse of human rights, relocations, residential schools, and so on” (Archibald et. Al 2008:93). Therefore, there is no harmonious relationship to fix, a relationship must be established first. Before this relationship can be made strong, “Canada must acknowledge its past history of shameful treatment of Aboriginal peoples. It must acknowledge its racist legacy. It should not only acknowledge these facts, but also take steps to make sure that the country’s history books reflect these realities” (Acrhibald et. Al 2008:93).The creation of this relationship is just beginning and the healing is slowly becoming a reality for most of the survivors. Although work is being done to create harmony, it is only the start and Canada should continue to work towards a brighter, more interconnected future with our Indigenous population.
Ultimately, the Indian Residential School system was a failure as Canada’s first nation population is alive and the re-building process is underway. Organizations like ‘Right To Play’ have been implemented on First Nation reserves to show children the importance of play, teamwork and friendly competition. There is financial aid available for First Nation’s youth wishing to attend post-secondary school and some Medical schools across Ontario have introduced admission spots for First Nation students only. It is quite noticeable that Canada is attempting to give back after all the hurt and neglect that our Aboriginal people have suffered. While it is true that many survivors will be able to see their children receive a promising childhood and education, several Canadian reserves are still unhappy with how they are being treated by the many ignorant people of society. Also, many of the First Nation reserves are struggling to maintain their land as it is being exploited by many natural energy producers. This has launched the ‘Idle No More’ Movement in Canada as reserves fight for their environmental rights. However, this movement has become more than a fight for environmental rights as Rose Daitsman and Pat O’Brien discuss in their article, “The Idle No More movement challenges mainstream images and stereotypes of passive/victimized indigenous subjects and provides visibility for alternative voices. It provides an opportunity to re-think social, political and economic relations in ways that include environmental, spiritual, and community values” (Daitsman, O’Brien2013:23). The indigenous peoples that lived through the residential school era want society to know what happened to them and to believe their stories. They want the people of Canada to learn about the history of the First Nation community just as they would learn about the history of the world wars or the great depression. This point is illustrated in volume 2 of Indian Education in Canada: The Challenge, “When they think of Indian cultures, many people conjure up images of art, totem poles, and Pow wow dancing, or they think in terms
of material culture-of canoes, teepees, moccasin, and feather headdresses. Indeed, this is how