When Our Children Cry for 215 Children

I am awake, I am alive, and this morning my heart is with the children who are thinking of the children …

Last night, a mother reached out to me, her son upset about the discovery of the children. She didn’t know what to say or do so she asked me.

In response, I simply say:

Trust, that you as a loving parent, know what is best for you child. Although I make suggestions here, know that I fully respect that what is done or not done with your child is completely and totally up to you. The schools tried to break the parent/child bond for our people, I will not do same.

But I do suggest talking to them, asking them what they think, how they feel, and listening to their answers. Do not dismiss their response. Instead, validate their feelings. Share if you are feeling same. Let them know they are not alone.

No doubt you have discussed “stranger danger” with them. Well, this is yet another example of bad people taking innocent children. Speak of how there were many people who thought Indigenous were uncivilized, unable to raise their children, how they wanted the children to be more like them so they took them, how they didn’t take care of them, and how many many died.

Let your child know that some people still look at Indigenous people that way, that this is why we must speak up every time we hear people say such things.

If your child is Indigenous, explain that the schools tried to take the language and customs from our people. Explain that this is why we must learn our languages again, why we must learn to dance and drum so that what they tried to take is never lost.

Afterwards, let your child draw, write, or do an art project in memory of the kids. Find pictures of little shoes and tape them to windows. Go for a walk and count out 215 steps, then 761 remembering the children with each step.

But most importantly, allow them to cry. Your child needs to grieve (as do you) and the children taken deserve to be grieved.

Again, how you discuss this with your child is up to you, but please, make sure you do. Talking will reassure your child that they are not the only one hurting, that they are not the only one who realizes how absolutely horrible this is.

Because they are not.

I hope that helped.

I love you!