Canada has now marked the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, partly in recognition of the approximately 4000 Indigenous children who died at the residential schools over 100 years or more, mostly from diseases and other natural causes. This is as it should be, formally acknowledging a sorry part of Canada’s history.
North Grenville Council also raised the “Every Child Matters” flag on that day, but it seems that even today some children matter more than others. The dictionary defines “child” as a human offspring, born or unborn, and we often refer to a pregnant woman as being “with child”. While we rightly mourn the loss of the 4000 children over the past century, in Canada almost 100,000 children are lost every year, not through natural causes, but killed intentionally before they can be born, while they are most innocent and vulnerable.
Those children do not seem to matter at all to most people. There is little public outrage, no national memorial, mourning or reckoning, and demonstrations attended by tens of thousands across Canada, such as the “Life Chain” event last Sunday, receive little or no mainstream media attention. Rather, the truth of these ongoing deaths at taxpayer expense is conveniently ignored, or even celebrated. Perhaps in another hundred years, when every child is truly welcomed and cared for, people will look back on this time as another sad part of our history.
And just maybe, the next time the “All Children Matter” flag is mentioned for the Indigenous kids being remembered, readers will give a passing thought to the more than 250 children purposely terminated every day here in Canada, children who do not seem to matter at all in our current context.