PA Rotarian Brian Walmark shared his family connection to the subject of Indigenous child deaths.  The recent discovery of 215 children’s gravesites at a former Kamloops, B.C. residential school is making news.

Brian is a beautiful storyteller.  What more meaningful material could there be than his own family’s history?  Brian’s mom, an intelligent, gifted and arguably-favoured Indigenous student at residential school, became a registered nurse and mother.  Her brother, fun-loving Tom was a fellow student who happily challenged the nuns and went on to served in WWII.  It was many years before Brian learned of the torture suffered by his uncle, witnessed by his mother, and longer still before Brian believed his mother’s account of night-time gravedigging.

It’s a lesson to us all about needing to listen better, about abuse of power, vulnerability of children taken from parents and the need for oversight in any exercise of authority. Brian recommended the book:  Suffer the Children, about the residential schools run by the Christian Brothers in Ireland.

President Krysta thanked Brian for his remarkable presentation.