June 13, 2010: The Legacy of Residential Schools - Learning to Love Cat Food - Hard Labour, Child Health in Afghanistan
Hour One: The Legacy of Residential Schools...Will the Healing Begin This Week? - For a hundred years and more, Indian, Métis and Inuit children in residential schools were subjected to abuse, deprivation, cultural isolation. For a hundred years and more nobody talked about it and nobody listened.Until now. This week in Winnipeg some of the survivors of residential schools will finally get to tell their stories. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission offers those survivors a venue for the first time. Heading the Commission is Judge Murray Sinclair who knows the subject first hand - he is the child of survivors of the system. His mission to to bring out all the various truths and set the country on a path to reconciliation. In our first hour, Judge Murray Sinclair and the idea of bearing witness to pain.
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Hour Three: Hard Labour : An interview with Sakeena Yacoobi about Maternal and Child Health in Afghanistan - Born in Ottawa , raised in the west, he is now composer in residence at the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Once you hear his music, you'll find it hard to forget it. Inspired by geography and environment, he paints sound pictures of a country that is welcoming and open but at the same time is mysterious and compelling. One of Canada's best young composers, Vincent Ho, will be with us in our Third Hour.
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Elsewhere on the show: Our documentary this week tells the amazing story of the Poyyou family. Eight young members of the family were orphaned by the Haitian earthquake in January; Part Two of Hard Labour, our look at the crisis of maternal health care in the Third World; a pile of your mail and Michael's own commencement speech to the grads of 2010.
Song: Where've You Been?
Album:A Collection of Hits
Michael gives a commencement speech to the graduating class of 2010.
Song: Akademische Festouverture
Artist: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Album: Basic Brahms
The Legacy of Residential Schools...Will the Healing Begin This Week?
In the early 1990s a handful of former Residential School students launched a lawsuit against the Federal Government and most of Canada's major churches over their experiences. Residential Schools operated in this country for more than 150 years and ultimately saw 150,000 Indian Children taken from their homes and put into Church run schools working on behalf of the Canadian Government with the objective of "killing the Indian" in the child.
By all accounts the experience was horrendous. Tens of thousands of the children died from disease, tens of thousands more were physically and sexually abused and all were subjected to wrenching dislocation from family culture and community.
By 2005, nearly another 20,000 claimants had joined the orginal handful of lawsuits against the Government and the Churches. In 2007, a settlement of the cases was reached. The terms included compensation, an official Government apology and the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission charged with once and for all bringing out the truth about this rather dark period in Canadian History.
Beginning this Wednesday, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will hold its first national public event at the Forks in Winnipeg Manitoba. This first step in documenting the experiences of the Residential School Students is being overseen by Justice Murray Sinclair, the chair of the Commission.
This won't be the first time, Justice Sinclair has broken new ground in this country. He was born and grew up in Selkirk Manitoba where he was class valedictorian at his high school and athlete of the year. He went on to study law and was admitted to the Bar in Manitoba in 1980. In 1988 he was appointed Associate Chief Justice of the provincial court of Manitoba, the first aboriginal judge in Manitoba and the second in Canada at large. During his career he has, both as a lawyer and Justice, worked long and hard on some of the most difficult issues facing Canada's Aboriginal Peoples.
This week, Justice Murray Sinclair was in our Winnipeg Studios.
Artist: Béla Fleck , Edgar Meyer
Album: Music for Two
Tech Reader - Essay
You might already have ground your teeth in frustration at the woman you're going to hear from next. You might even have yelled at her.
But not by name.
You'd have no way of knowing it. In fact, you might have thought she was a man. If you have ever tried to strongly encourage a computer do what it is supposed to do, you may have encountered the fruits of Caroline Harvey's labour.
We let her tell you about the strange world she works in, in this week's essay.
Artist: Chick Corea & Bela Fleck
Album: The Enchantment
Song: Whims of Chambers
Artist:Phil Dwyer Quartet
Album:Fables and Dreams
Learning to Love Cat Food ! How is Your Pension Fund Looking?
It is always nice to hear that Canada is the best at something.For example, you may not know that Canada is one of the best places in the world for retired people. If you are retired right now, chances are you are as well off today as you were when you had a regular paycheque. This country has one of the lowest poverty rates in the world for seniors.
That is the picture today. The bad news is that tomorrow looks very different. Those of us who are working today may be in for a big disappointment. Those great company pension plans are a thing of the past. And we aren't saving either.
The consequences? At least one in five Canadians will not have enough savings to retire when they can no longer work.
Next week, all the country's finance ministers will be meeting to discuss a possible way out of this mess.
Jack Mintz was the director of research for the Federal Provincial Working Group on Retirement Incomes which released their report to those very same finance ministers last December. He is also the Palmer Chair in Public Policy at the University of Calgary. He was in our studio in Calgary. p>
Monica Townson is one of Canada's leading pension experts. She has written six books on the subject, most recently, Growing Older, Working Longer: The New Face of Retirement. She is an independent consultant, and a member of the Ontario Advisory Council on Pensions and Retirement Income.
Keith Ambachtsheer (Amm Back Tush Sheer) is director of the Rotman International Centre for Pension Management at the University of Toronto. He specializes, among other things, in studying and comparing different pension systems around the world.
Both Monica Townson and Keith Ambachtsheer were both with Michael in Toronto.
Song: Lil' Dukes Strut
Album: Payton's Place
Mail Pack #1
Last week on the program, Michael spoke about the closing of Prison Farms across Canada. Many of you wrote in to share your thoughts about the topic as well.Music
Song: Lonely Moments
Artist: George Shearing
Pauyos Plus Eight
On January 12th when the earthquake hit, Theirry Pauyo - a Montrealer studying medicine at Harvard - was working at a hospital in the mountains of Haiti. He made his way into Port-au-Prince and - almost miraculously - found his eight cousins aged 4 to 21. They had just become orphans.
As soon as a phone line became available, Thierry Pauyo was in touch with his parents back in Montreal. Eric - the 66 year old doctor getting ready to wind up his practice and Nicole - a 64 year old retired nurse, empty nesters getting ready to enjoy some travel and quiet times.
Well, not quite yet.
Eric and Nicole Pauyo are now the legal guardians of 8 young nieces and nephews, scrambling to do everything they can to help the newcomers adjust to a whole new way of life in Canada.
Before he left for South Africa, to cover the world cup David Gutnick paid a visit to the burgeoning household.
Song: The Lochs of Dread
Artist: Montreal Guitare Trio
Album:MG3: Garam Masala
Song: If I Think of it
Artist: Myriam Alter
Hard Labour : An interview with Sakeena Yacoobi about Maternal and Child Health in Afghanistan
Stephen Harper has declared maternal and and child health the number one priority at the G8/G20 meetings the year...and with that in mind, we're talking to women from around the world who are working on the frontlines of these issues.
This week on our series, Hard Labour...saving women and babies in Afghanistan ... the country with one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world.
As a little girl growing up in Afghanistan, every week Sakeena Yakoobi witnessed the bodies of women and newborn babies being removed from houses in her neighbourhood.
She had no idea why they were dying, but she was so affected by this recurring sight that she decided she wanted to becoming a gynecologist. As it turns out, she became an expert in public health...and her interest in assisting women remains as keen as ever.
s. Yakoobi is the founder of the Afghan Institute of Learning, a grassroots educational and health organization run by women, for women. Since 1992 she's founded 5 women's health clinics ...three in Herat, two in Kabul and one in Jalalabad.
Her clinics serve up to 50,000 women per year and have reduced the maternal mortality rate by 70% among the women who have been treated there - proving that where care is available fewer mothers and babies die.
Ms. Yakoobi is in our Saskatoon studio this morning.
Artist: Myriam Alter
Mail Pack #2
Last week Michael spoke with Don Gillmor about his historical novel, Kanata. Some of you shared your thoughts on that.
Also, a couple of weeks ago Michael spoke about the so called "war on the car". One listener wrote in about the difficulty of carrying items when riding a bike.
Robert Judge from Saskatoon felt differently. He wrote:
I beg to differ. Our family hauls all our groceries, and most of our shipments of furniture, tools ....building materials etc., by bicycle. When we got rid of our car a couple of years ago, we were't sure if carlessness would work as we have a small child and live 5 Kilometres from the nearest major grocery store. I am happy to say that I look forward to grocery day year 'round as it provides fresh air, great views and an abiding sense of the seasons that one never gets in a hermetically sealed car. I am a non-athletic guy, pushing 50. I just take my time and if I can do it, any average reasonably fit person who enjoys two wheels can. 35 below weather is no problem thanks to the great clothes available now in ski and sports stores. A cooler keeps our food fresh in any extreme weather.
Purpose-built cargo trailers are available, most are less than the cost of one year's car insurance. I have to say that grocery day is now the highlight of our week.
He also sent us some pictures!
The Amazing Music of Vincent Ho
Vincent Ho is a Canadian composer who plays off of visual images - paintings, photos, landscapes - when he creates his music.
Mr. Ho is a composer of what is called "new music", or modern classical music. It's a genre with its own unique challenges.
A couple of years ago, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra's New Music Festival put on a concert called "And You Call This Music?". They wanted to engage listeners and composers in a dialogue about the nature of contemporary music. One of the pieces chosen for that discussion was composed by Vincent Ho.
He is composer-in-residence for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. And one of this country's most admired and honoured creators of new music.
You may remember we met him briefly in March during our trek across the country by train. We didn't have a lot of time to talk then, so we invited him back.
Artist: Steve Dyer
Album: Putumayo Presents: South Africa