The Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Residential Schools released its interim report on February 24, entitled They Came for the Children. The basic conclusions were that the residential school system had been an assault on aboriginal children, culture, families and that the impact of the system was immediate and ongoing. Lastly, the commission concluded that Canadians have been denied full and proper education about this sad chapter in our history.

Even though the Canadian government and the various religious denominations who were involved in operating the system have apologized for the assaults on the aboriginal community and are providing monetary compensation to the survivors, it will never be enough.

However when it comes to the the Canadian public being denied full and proper education on the matter, there is a degree of self serving rhetoric on the part of the TRC, the AFN and other First Nations Organizations who seem to more interested in perpetuating their own beaurocratic agendas for continued funding by acting as gatekeepers regarding just what information will be provided to the public,  particularly young Canadians of high school age who have so many other media distractions vying for their attention.

A journalistic report like this is really just another expensive example of the many that have preceeded it, pretty well saying all the same things. It will be read only by a few academics and maybe by some high school students who will cough back a few answers to pass their exams. The Canadian public will not be any the wiser and it will shortly end up in the dustbin of history.

Yet when given the opportunity to lever a story like Blue Saltwater to engage Canadians on an emotional level and thereby raise awareness about the schools and the sytemic dysfunction they generated within the aboriginal community, the gatekeepers inexplicably remain silent and unsupportive. Why is that?