It was eighteen years ago this month that I first handed to a Vancouver Sun newspaper editor a list of possible mass grave sites of Indian residential school children on Canada’s west coast, based on government documents and statements from eyewitnesses who buried children there.
I and these witnesses were flatly ignored: not only then, but every other time over the subsequent years that we presented such evidence to the same newspaper.
But lo and behold! Suddenly this past week, as if I’d never spoken to them, the Sun newspaper finally reported on residential school graves! I wasn’t mentioned in their article, of course; nor was the word “genocide”, or any of the hundreds of witnesses to these crimes that our work has given voice to since 1997.
Year after year, despite all our public protests, forums, and documenting of the location of the mass graves of these children, the Vancouver Sun‘s indifference to the worst crime in Canadian history continued. And this same blind eye approach was replicated by every other “mainstream” media outlet across Canada – even when, in December of 2011, these media received from me evidence of bone and clothing samples unearthed from the Brantford residential school mass grave.