The mistreatment and abuse of Indigenous children has been in the news this week. In British Columbia’s Interior, the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation has found the remains of 125 children, some as young as 3, on the site of what used to be Canada’s largest residential school.
Built on the territory of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation in the southern B.C. Interior, the Kamloops Indian Residential School was at one point the largest of Canada’s institutions designed to separate Indigenous youth from their parents and cultures. The school operated from 1890 to 1969, mostly under a Catholic order called the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, but the federal government ran it as a day school for nine more years before it closed in 1978.
Previously, the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s registry could confirm only 51 deaths at Kamloops from 1914 to 1963. But the Tk’emlups community long suspected that more children were buried on the grounds and tried for about 20 years to find them. Recently, a grant from B.C.’s Pathway to Healing program allowed the nation to pay for ground-penetrating radar, which was used over the Victoria Day weekend to find the site.
From the 1870s to the 1990s, residential schools were part of a systematic federal policy to assimilate Indigenous children into European culture, based on racist assumptions that their own cultures were inferior. Children were separated from their parents and lived in poorly funded schools where federal- or church-run staff punished them for speaking their own languages. Physical and sexual abuse, malnutrition and disease were common. Over all, there were about 140 residential schools, the last of which closed in Saskatchewan in 1996. This annihilation of Native children could be classed as an attempt at Genocide. If the children did not fit into the mold they tried to force them into they often murdered them, either deliberately or by torture branded as discipline and many died while trying to escape.
This is a map showing the locations of all 140 residential schools in Canada. After the discovery in Kamloops, every single one should be searched.
There has been so much abuse under the guise of the Catholic Church. Like many other careers such as teaching or coaching, pedophiles are known to choose positions of trust where they have unlimited access to children. So many stories have come out about some of these atrocities, it is so shameful. Such hypocrisy to try and tell other people how to live their lives while covering up or enabling these horrific abuses. It sickens me.
I pray to the Great Spirit, to Wakan Tanka, the Great Mystery and our ancestors for peace for the families who have been devastated and broken by the sins of the white colonists.
Last Sunday the South African president, Uncle Cyril had a chat with his children. We had been anticipating a family meeting as we are in our third COVID wave. After over a year of these sessions I no longer panic as much but I still get very anxious. I do not know why, he is not usually telling us anything about the virus that we do not already know, just possible changes to our freedom of movement and alcohol consumption. This time he has put us back to an adjusted level 2. Curfew is 11pm but alcohol sales are still allowed and restaurants and bars can remain open.
Never mind, hopefully Norm and I have a lifetime of Anniversaries together, we will cook a special meal and snuggle up in front of a fire and as long as we are together that is all that matters.
The rain cleared last Sunday and I made a start on some of the projects I have on my list. I started with the Fu Dogs which I have had for many years. The paint was peeling off of them and they were looking so tatty. I put them outside and gave them a good scrub with a brush to scrape off any loose paint.
Norm set up the trestle table in the garage for me to work so that I was out of the sun. I put on the first coat of Fired Earth Pot Paint ‘late night’ but I have at least one more coat to cover the bits where the paint was completely bare. I then will do a light dry brush of copper to highlight the details on their heads and the base. Hopefully it will look great but I figured that they looked so bad as they were that I could only improve them.
I then put a coat of paint onto an old stool that I have had for almost 30 years. I took a painting class back when I lived in George and the kids were babies and the teacher’s husband made various pieces for the students to buy for painting in the classes that his wife taught. I bought it for my class but painted something else so it stayed bare wood for years and the kids used it to stand on to brush their teeth when they were too small to reach the sink. Then after I divorced it travelled up north when I moved to a little house in Johannesburg and was painted dark green as my lounge was forest green. Then it traveled with me to Belfast and I painted it red as Norm’s living room was done in reds. Then it came back to South Africa and Caitlin painted it purple as her bedding in her room was purple. For a simple little stool it has had a long and interesting life. Hopefully my grandbabies will use it when they arrive and it will have come full circle.
I used the chalk paint in ‘King Louis Blue’ by Fired Earth. It will also take another coat to cover the purple.
This afternoon I am going to apply a second coat to both of them. I love having little projects to potter away at. Norm and I discussed the back garden as our next outside project. We are going to do another succulent and indigenous plant garden and put down artificial grass where the lawn used to be as nothing will grow back there without using our precious water source.
Load-shedding is back again and on Tuesday night we had no electricity from 8pm until just after 10pm. I had prepared for it and I had dinner ready by 7 so we could eat and I built a big fire for light as well as warmth. As we have a gas cooker I had a beef pot roast simmering on the stove for the following night and it smelled divine. Other than the loud roar of a neighbour’s generator it was quite peaceful. I played games on my iPad and Norm worked on his laptop.
It has been somewhat sunny all week but as soon as the sun starts to set it gets bitterly cold. I have been building a fire as soon as I finish work. All of the animals are clustering around us.
On Friday the sun was shining and to top off the fabulousness, load shedding was suspended so work was not affected. Then I got a message from African Craft Beverages to say they were dropping off my prizes from the competition I wrote about last week. What a great way to kick off my weekend. The photograph from Freddie Child Villiers of FCVPhotography, the gin and rum from African Craft Beverages as well as the delicious hamper of goodies from Aioli are all just so wonderful!
I will get the voucher for Orms sent to me electronically and the necklace from Tyldesley Jewellers is still being made and will come soon.
Today Norm and I got up and out early as I had to return some clothes I had bought online for a smaller size. I have reverse body dysmorphia and always think I am much bigger than I am, since I am shopping mostly online I have bought several things which are way too big.
We went for breakfast at Mugg & Bean and then did what we needed to do and got out of there. Far too peoply for me!
Norm ordered a cheeseburger and not only was it nasty looking meat but it was ice cold. Poor Norm. I ordered breakfast and it was fine.
Now for the weekly COVID stats. SA has moved up a spot and is now 19th globally for total cases with 1,686,041. The UK is still 7th with 4,506,016 and the USA is still 1st with 34,192,023 total cases.
For total deaths from COVID, SA is still ranked 16th with 56,832 lives lost. The UK has dropped to 6th with 127,823 deaths and the USA is still 1st with 612,240 deaths. This shows that the vaccines must be working in the UK and that there is only a minimal increase in the death rate in SA despite being in our third wave.
On the more even playing field of deaths per million of the population, SA is back up at 53rd with 947 deaths per million, the USA has stayed put and is still at 18th with 1,840 and the UK is still 17th with 1,874 deaths per million.
The SA government is reporting that 1,266,893 vaccines have been administered. They are ramping up quite quickly now and hopefully Norm will get called in to receive his soon. The UK government has reported the 1st dose total as 39,949,694 and the 2nd dose total as 26,799,944. The CDC has reported the USA vaccine counts as 169,735,441 first vaccines administered and that 137,455,367 have been fully vaccinated.
Rhye is the duo of songwriter-producers Michael Milosh and Robin Hannibal. Hannibal has since left the group and Milosh has been accused of grooming and sexual abuse by his ex-wife Alexa Nikolas. She alleged Milosh began grooming her for a sexual relationship when she was 16 years old and he was 33, and that during their marriage, he assaulted her. So things appear to be a bit iffy for Rhye, however I have only discovered this track because of Mahogany Sessions and thought I would include it despite the fact that Rhye is now more of a sourdough.
In my opinion, this version is far superior to the actual song that was released originally. I absolutely adore this song and I did not realise it was a dude singing until I saw the video. I think Milosh’s voice is quite androgynous and sounds a bit like Tracy Thorn, the lead singer of Everything But the Girl.
The abuse reports create a dilemma. Do you separate the man from the work? Especially if nothing has been proven and it is only an accusation? However, I always tend to believe a woman who makes these claims and I refuse to support R. Kelly after the truth about him has come to light. Or Michael Jackson, I love his music but there are so many rumours about him that even though there were no convictions, do you spend your money on his products?
This week I watched a 2 part documentary on Elvis called ‘Elvis Presley: The Searcher‘. It was made in 2018 but has recently been released on Netflix. It takes you on a journey from his childhood through to the final 1976 Jungle Room recording sessions just before his death. He passed away at age 42 on August 16, 1977 after having overdosed on opioids several times in 1973. Fourteen drugs were found in Elvis’ system, with several drugs such as codeine in significant overprescribed quantities. All drugs were prescribed by his personal physician, Dr. George C. Nichopoulos, and in those days you trusted a doctor and assumed they would not give you anything which would cause you harm. Addiction was not as understood then as well as it is today and of course the Elvis machine had to keep on performing in order to feed those who sucked at the teet of his commercial success.
I learned a bit about Elvis but since I am a bit of a super fan there was not much I did not know already. I did not realise he had done 31 films! He was such a beautiful man and he was so taken advantage of by his manager, the sleazy degenerate leech Colonel Parker.
I am going to get out in the sun now and work in my garden and do some painting. These beautiful days are rare in winter and I want to make the most of it. I hope you enjoy your weekend.
Until next time, keep safe and remember to check on your friends who are isolating alone.
Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox