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Posts tagged “City of Edmonton

It Matters to Me – Thank You Survivors at TRC Event

I heard a lot of truth this weekend that was very difficult to hear. I was one of 30,127  connected via live -streaming to 36 countries around the world, and later attended in person, a historical event in Canada that took place here in Edmonton, Alberta within traditional Treaty Six Plains Cree territory.

This was the  final gathering of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC)  event where survivors of the Indian Residential schools shared their stories about a racist and inhumane system run by our government  and churches for over 130 years.

Stories were told by the survivors themselves, who, as children, were forcibly taken from their families, shipped to schools where they were not allowed to speak their own language, practice their own culture,  not allowed to talk to their siblings in the same school, punished for being who they were, punished for being children who were terrified and forced to adopt a culture that wasn’t their own, forced to stay in a school separated from family and forced to adopt a religion in order to to be “civilized” by a most uncivilized system of government and churches.

As if this was not abusive enough, add to that beatings, emotional, psychological, physical  and sexual abuse.

One exhibit that moved me deeply in the Learning room was the Missing Children project. At this time more than 4,100 children have been identified by the commission who died of disease or accident while attending residential schools.These, and many more were not returned home.

There was much raw pain and emotion.Many tears. It was  emotionally exhausting. There also was a balance of humour, talent, ceremony, love. Much laughter and wisdom was shared, the latter of which was the theme of this event which comes from the seven sacred teachings: love, respect, courage, honesty, wisdom, humility, and truth.All of these teachings were practised at this gathering.

It is very hard to describe the wealth of experience  gained by listening, sharing, talking and greeting others. I went because I could not “not” go. I was very nervous at first,  but felt welcome  with the people at this large gathering.It was an honour to be there. . .to walk in the march at the end of the event as a member of the human race. My intention is to do my part in sharing the truth to others about the residential schools  that existed for generations, to listen to the stories and teachings of the survivors and elders.

I want to express my deep gratitude and respect to the survivors, many of you who shared your stories for the first time here. Thank you for your honesty and courage. May all of us continue on our healing journey, be proud, be respectful and walk in reverence, harmony. . . and thrive!

All my relations.


I didn’t take my camera,  wanted to be fully present to the experience. I include here a photo I took in 1998 at the 25th anniversary of Poundmaker’s Lodge, a recovery centre outside of Edmonton . In the background you see the remains of the  residential school, which was destroyed by arson in 2000.

Poundmakers  001

Get Rid of the Birds RANT

Something stinks in this city and it isn’t just bird poop.The City of Edmonton wants to get rid of the birds from its parks. Too much poop and it interferes with the public events and if we get a swimming pool or beach or restaurant (let’s develop the beautiful river valley and make it more people-friendly).

The skyline is going UP.


I agree, the poop is a large problem. The people are  a large problem. We haven’t got the money to enforce the “no feeding” laws so the solution is to get rid of the birds.

A lot of people like to feed the geese and ducks and this in part has created huge over-population and bacteria problems. So the city and the University of Alberta have joined forces to deal with the problem. Not the problem of the people. The problem of the geese. And ducks Oh, and that pair of red-necked grebes that are nesting in Hawrelak park? Well that is a shame, isn’t it?  Tsk. Tsk.

We all have to listen to the annoying recordings of stressed chicks, cries of raptors, etc. –  that doesn’t fool any of us, bird or human.The university is  bringing a black lab to chase the geese after sunset and shining green lazers on the islands and shores.Now THAT must be working. I have not seen one offspring this year.



Unnatural behaviour of the birds crowding the edge to feed. The blue is a wake board that has been discarded.ImageOn the notice that was posted recently, it says that it is humane. I don’t buy that. I phoned the city to complain about the lack of enforcement. I encounter dog poop on the trails and wildlife harassment from these pets that are running loose. A couple of years ago the laws allowed dogs in the park, on lese and on-trail only. Well, that’s a joke.Though there is lots of poop from the geese, now there is poop from the dogs on the trail and I see so much garbage left behind from the humans.it is hard to take a photo without garbage in it.

There is over population-people are not supposed to feed the birds. But as you see in these photos there is total disregard for the signs. they sit in front of the signs and feed the birds little knowing that this behaviour is the cause of the over-population and the poop and of the movement to chase the birds away.


After reading the sign I approached people like a mad middle-aged woman that I am, yelling about how the city hates the ducks and geese.They laughed at me and said “oh ya, we hate the geese”. as they threw bread to them. (I was acting crazy, I was crazy with grief over the loss of green space in this city and the wildlife within its boundaries) Last year when I kindly told a man that bread is bad for them. he replied that I was a know-it-all, that these geese are his “friends” and he fed them whole grain bread because it was better for them. He also told me to f-off.

Some of the people that come to the park say they like the geese. You are killing them with your kindness. Yes there are lots, they will never be extinct this year.. One generation lost at this park  won’t make a big dint. One person feeding isn’t a big deal . But when you multiply that by hundreds it is a big deal.

I phoned the city  number for animal control that was listed on the U of A sheet and the person that i spoke to didn’t realize the city number for animal control is on the sheet and said that she did not realize the full extent of the actions that the university was taking.When I talked to someone at the university they said the goal of the city is to chase  the fowlaway from the parks.

I asked why there was no enforcement by the by-law officers. There are, but there are only two for all the parks in the city and more are being trained for the summer months. I am not sure what I believe.I have had an inkling that the city wanted to chase the birds away since I saw the fake coyotes last year before the big triathelon and heard talk of beaches and swimming pools.

Gosh, just think, if the city enforced the park by-laws, this may be a good way to keep some of the geese and ducks,   hire staff to educate families about nature and gee, it might even  be a good way to raise money for the new hockey arena that is costing billions.