Re-covenanting and the Apology for the Residential Schools

M. Shivaun Corry (msc5@sfu.ca)
Communication, Simon Fraser University
April, 2013
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A community activist and recent graduate of the Simon Fraser University Department of Communication Masters’ program, Shivaun has worked in publishing, radio and television in both Canada and Turkey. She is critically an acclaimed musician, having released an album of traditional Turkish folk songs with Sony Music/Columbia records and in 2001. In 2005, she was the associate producer of the award-winning television series “Shimmy” produced for OmniFilm, with funding The Discovery Channel, which currently in more than 20 countries including Canada, India, Mexico, Columbia, and France. She has sat on the selection committee of the Amnesty International Film Festival and volunteers as a community journalist. In the day light, Shivaun works for a local television production company, while after sunset, she is draped in sequins and satin, dancing on top of a drum while balancing a sword on her head as one of Western Canada’s favourite belly dancers.
 

Abstract

This thesis analyses Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Apology for the Indian Residential School System and its media coverage as a process of re-covenanting. The author demonstrates that, by splitting the totem of the identity of Canada into a sinning chapter and an essential national character, members of the totem domain were able to sacrifice the totem of Canada, which had been polluted through violations of the beliefs in equality and human rights in the residential school system though the symbolic sacrifice of the leader and representative of the people, the Prime Minister. After sacrificing the totem of the sinning nation through the humiliation of the confession of sin and apology, the totem was regenerated to its unpolluted, ideal state. This apology process constitutes a narrative of re-covenanting in line with Abrahamic and more universal religious structures, reaffirming our commitment to the values of the apology.
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