On Tuesday, February 5 our guest speaker was Archdeacon Val Kerr of the Niagara Diocese. Val, of Haudenosaunee decent, grew up East of Bellville and presented on the theme of Truth and Reconciliation. She is a widow with two sons and six great grandchildren. Herself abused she does not dwell on it. She explained the role that residential schools played in disconnecting generations from their parents and grandparents the latter of which typically cared for the children while the parents worked to provide for the family. Val informed us that while some of the schools were okay the purpose was to take the Indian (savage) out of the children. 
 
We were informed that Treaties with the Federal Government were supposed to provide Healthcare, Education & Housing but the services are lacking due to inadequate funding.
 
Val also provided some statistics. There are more children in foster care today than were in residential schools. She explained that one hospital in Western Canada took 40 babies at birth to be placed in foster care. She called on the Federal Government to educate indigenous mothers on how to care for their children. Val recommended reading a book titled Seven Fallen Feathers by author Tanya Talaga covering the subject of racism. 
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