B. Lorraine Smith
4 min readJun 4, 2021

The information below discusses residential schools and survivors, and may be triggering to some readers. Support is made available to survivors and their families 24 hours a day at the Indian Residential School Survivors Society’s crisis line at 1–866–925–4419.

There are resources after the letter about what Non-Indigenous people can do.

A few days ago I published a version of this letter on my personal facebook page and received a lot of positive feedback from friends, both Native and non-Native. I share it here in the spirit of making positive change, sooner.

Dear Canadian tax payers (and anyone clinging to the fantasy of Canada as a vast wilderness and solid democracy built on human rights),

The sadness you feel in your heart when the media serves up a couple days’ worth of news about the tragic loss of life of 215 First Nations children in a residential school is part of something much bigger that is still active today.

This is not “history” and it is not “other people” who did these things. It is us. We are the barely sighted benefactors of the sadness you feel. I say this not to make you feel guilty but to help you recognize what is happening because without recognition there can be no change.

We have these little peaks and valleys of sorrow. Gord Downie releases The Secret Path and we clap at the…



B. Lorraine Smith

Former sustainability consultant replacing ESG with reality-based insights about corporate purpose and impact. https://www.blorrainesmith.com/