This morning I heard a radio interview that connected a few dots for me.
With the finding of about 215 bodies of children at a residential school there have been many questions. Many times parents did not find out what happened to their children. Parents were somewhat nomadic and wandered to where the hunting and trapping was best. If we go back further many parents didn't have much of an idea where their children went. There was not a legal apprehension just an apprehension. There wasn't much in the way of legal responsibility. There was no such thing as "ward".
Many parents did find out about their children's death. A few parents requested that their children's bodies be sent back home. The government refused to pay to send the body back to parents. This is extremely sad.
Now I had an experience with a death when I was in Wakeham Bay. A toddler was murdered by the mother. In the matter of investigation the child's body was taken south to Montreal.
A year later one of the elders asked me about the baby and where the body was. I didn't have an answer. I didn't know what happened to the body. I can't remember what I told him but it would have been of little value. I was in my mid 20's and the Quebec administrator was also in his mid 20's We were not at an age where we were mature enough to think about the significance of bodies. We were not trained to look after a murder.
I have thought of this incident many times and asked myself why I didn't take some action. I could have written a letter. The powers that be played fast and loose with some of these issues.
The interview this morning explained just how bad things were when the government refused to send a body back home.