First Question I am left with is: Who is Peggy Peterson - I don't have much information to offer on the individual other then the Thomas' claim the question comes from her first.
Where and who poised the question isn't of importance to me - rather who shared it and then who used it to try to paint only one political party as the sole creator of the continued colonization of Indigenous peoples and nations - while completely ignoring the reality: All of the political parties (Liberal, Conservative, NDP, and Bloc (and whatever previous names they went by) have had a hand in the colonial mentality that has dominated Canada, and in many cases, continues to dominate Canada's political, social, legal, and governing institutions - whether federally with the most seats, as opposition, or third party (lets remember - In Canada, the government is those who are sitting in the HOC); or provincially (whether governing, opposition or third party). This is especially true with Residential schools - all caveats of Canada's society had some part in it - including Liberals, PCs, NDP (and its predecessors such as the CCF, Progressives and Labour), and so on.
Do I honestly believe that those in the House of Commons new the torture, abuse, and murder that was occurring in the Residential Schools? Perhaps - but people in all the parties would know - whether provincial or federal; whether governing, opposition, or third party. Studies and visits most likely would have been done by party representatives throughout the 1900s, and including post-1960s. However, this does not mean some knew first hand what was actually occurring within them - this could be because of bureaucracy, deputy ministers - such as Duncan Campbell Scott - only relaying certain caveats of the Residential School situation to them, and so on. Again, this is all hypothetical - but to state and try to pinpoint the murder, abuse, molestation, and pain that was inflicted on Indigenous peoples as being only from one party is PURELY pespostorous. They all have a place in the guilt of Canada's colonial mentality and continued ignorance towards Indigenous understandings (such as Quebec's right to self determination and separation potentially over Indigenous nations and rights).
But, what was the most infuriating of all for me was the utilization of the murder of Indigenous peoples - the abuse, murder, slander, and attack on Indigenous peopels via the residential school system that for me equates a new form of low in this election campaign. And for that I say shame on you Thomas Dowswell. It made me absolutey livid - and thus I responded to his (and I guess Peggy Peterson's) comment to Frank (mind you my response was mainly to Thomas).
"Thomas - how dare you try and use the abuse my great grandfather and others who survived residential school to score political points - let alone the generational trauma my grandfather, aunts, uncles, mother; my cousins, myself, and my sister have suffered because of all of this. YOU ARE a part of the problem when understanding Indigenous contexts and the colonial history of Canada. You owe an apology for your sickening display. Absolutely disgusted with this. Your actions are extremely ignorant. The Liberals, Conservatives, and NDP have all made tremendous mistakes in the past - whether government, opposition or third party. They all had been complacent in some way. I am thankful, as an Anishinaabe Inini, that the Liberals have admitted to their past mistakes and been learning from them (such as, under Martin, rejecting the First Nations Governance Act, Bringing forth Kelowna, Bringing forth a plan for National Childcare and Kyoto being moved forward between 2004-2006 - all destroyed for the NDP wanting an additional 10 seats; For Officially rejecting the White Paper of 1969; For being the party to push for the national apology on residential schools (via Liberal MP Gary Majesty in 2008); For standing up for First Nations peoples and their rights against the Conservatives MRP legislation (which the NDP supported on second reading in order to not let the Liberals look good when they introduced a motion to effectively kill the legislation - a motion the NDP were supposed to support but didnt because they didnt get to introduce the motion). This doesn't even include actions of NDP/CCF governments provincially in Saskatchewan (which is where the push for provincialization of some of our jurisdictions as Indigenous peoples came from - the Saskatchewan CCF wanted control over Indigenous peoples in that province) or the NDP in Manitoba (who participated heavily in the post 1960s of removal of Indigenous Children from their families, homes, and communities - not to mention the flooding of Indigenous communities in 2011) and so on."
I will also add - Thomas's actions shows the inherent problem of colonial mentality and 'privilege' that sometimes consumes the left side of the political spectrum whilst many pretend to not recognize it or the western constructs within the idea of 'social justice.'
Moral of The Story:
I will also remind Thomas Dowswell that the NDP's past is just as guilty and riddled with colonial thought as the other parties:
In the meantime, I still hope the NDP will offer clarity on the following questions I have been asking (some for a few months - others for two years).
For More Info and sources: