I had to write the saddest letter I have ever written, last week. This letter was to the mother of the young Indigenous man who was killed by police in Ottawa. As young women, Linda Ritchie and I had many conversations about her children, who had been taken away when they were young. She always hoped they were okay and yearned for the day she would have them home again. Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out as hoped or planned.
We lost Linda in 2015. When I found out that one of her boys had been killed, my heart broke all over again.
I wrote her this letter, which I posted on Facebook.
Linda Ritchie, my old friend, you were reunited with your baby boy yesterday. I know that you have welcomed him with open arms. Please tell him we are so very sorry about what happened to him here and that we will miss him every day. We know he will soar with the Eagles now, he will be every tree we touch, every bird we see, every warm breeze on our faces we will feel his magnificent presence and know that he has been welcomed home with the ancestors. I miss you, friend, I love you and will not let your boy’s death be in vain. Chi Miigwetch to Catherine Dallaire for this beautiful painting of your son, this speaks volumes on who he was and how we will remember him, a part of the land he loved so much. Until we meet again
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