215 Dead Children, Now What?


Not indigenous children. Not immigrant children, just children found in a mass grave. In any other moment in time this would be considered a crime scene and it’s not even getting front page news on some platforms. And we’re not hearing much from our government about it, which is also shameful.

Part of the reason for this, in my view as being part of a branding agency, is that we’ve whitewashed what these institutions were by calling them “residential schools.” Nice, innocent narrative that is utter bullshit.

These were Christian confinement and incarceration centres, populated by abducted children, many of whom clearly never “graduated” because they died while in the care of our predecessor who were trying to teach or beat “the Indian of them.”

Canada does not have the moral high ground to point a finger at Americans, or any other country we blithely accuse of human rights violations, when we have such a miserable record right here at home.

Changing your social media profile image is NOT enough

Reach out to our minority government – best kind of government to have influence on because we’ve got leverage. Get them to move on the inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women, get them to move on clean water, get them to find who let these children die and excoriate their legacy.

Most of all, encourage them and others to recognize poisonous attitudes and behaviours towards indigenous and other marginalized or racialized communities are not a “that was in the past, let’s move on” sort of thing. It exists in the here and now, and it continues to taint our society.

These 215 children have come up out of the grave to remind us that more needs to be done.


Wayne S. Roberts

The Globe and Mail calls Wayne S. Roberts "an ad industry provocateur." Maybe its because he's never seen the point of playing by the ad game rules that place awards above results, while offering spec work instead of real value to win accounts. Throughout his career, Wayne has maintained a defiantly independent streak characterized by his insistence that agencies must be honest, direct and passionately invested in their clients' success. His pioneering work in espousing the brand community perspective has been a touchstone of his belief that branding is more than just logos, websites and ad campaigns; it is the fundamental way human beings connect with each other to create communities and launch movements that have changed our world.

Wayne S. Roberts has 66 posts and counting.See all posts by Wayne S. Roberts