In an unforgettable video, a sister remembers her brother’s death at residential school.

On July 1, 149 years ago, Canada became a country.

To believe the history books I read when growing up, this process was filled with a lot of British-born people fighting with French-born people, who eventually worked everything out and settled in to invent basketball, play hockey, set up a universal health care system, and listen to a lot of Celine Dion while eating poutine.

It's not even close to the whole story.


I love my country and the land and water she occupies. But, there are dark places in Canada's colonial past, particularly surrounding the treatment of indigenous Canadians.

Starting in the late 1800s, Canada's federal government worked with Christian churches to take indigenous children out of their homes and force them into residential schools.

Students and nuns at a residential school in Quebec, circa 1950. Image via BiblioArchives Canada/Flickr.

Before residential schools, indigenous Canadians lived their lives as they had since time immemorial. That was a problem for Christian churches and the Canadian government, who wanted them to assimilate completely with western culture. Residential schools were designed to "break" indigenous children of their traditional identities and beliefs. They reportedly used horrific methods to do so. Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse were common. Over the 13 decades they were in operation, Canada's residential schools took in 150,000 children, or about 30% of the native children in the country. More than 6,000 died while in attendance.

Residential schools are a black mark on Canada's history, and one we didn’t talk about for far too long. Finally, that's changing.

Historica Canada has been making short videos about Canadian history since 1991. They're usually fairly lighthearted or inspirational — talking about feminist leaders, military innovations, or the bear that inspired A.A. Milne to write about Winnie-the-Pooh.

This latest video is different. It's a short, moving story of what life in a residential school was like, told by a survivor.

Image via Historica Canada/YouTube.

The one-minute film tells the story of Chanie Wenjack, as narrated by his sister Pearl. Both Pearl and her brother were forced into residential schools as children. They were made to cut their long hair, to wear western clothes, to learn Christian teachings, and to forget the culture of their birth.

By 1966, 12-year-old Chanie was desperate to return home and ran away from school. He was found in the woods a week later, dead of exposure.

Chanie's death sparked the first inquest into the treatment of indigenous children at these schools — a cascade that ended with their closure, a government apology, and a national movement toward reconciliation that continues today.

Shortly after taking office last fall, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to residential school survivors and their families and said it was time to do more.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Image via Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images.

In a speech marking the completion of work by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, he told a tearful story of his own experience in school where Canada's indigenous history was cast aside.

"I remember one moment in Canadian history class where we got to the chapter in the textbook on indigenous Canadians. Good school, good teacher. Good textbook, I suppose. And the teacher shrugged and said 'This chapter is not very interesting and not very important so we're going to skip it.' ... Let me tell you, that the work you've done and that all of you have been a part of will ensure that never again, in the future of Canada, will students be told that this is not an integral part of everything we are as a country, of everything we are as Canadians." — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Canada is not alone. Nearly every colonized nation in the world has a story like this.

Children hold letters that spell "Goodbye" at Fort Simpson Indian Residential School in Canada's Northwest Territories, circa 1922. Image via BiblioArchives Canada/Flickr.

These stories — the ones we gloss over in our history books or only talk about when we're shamed into it — are as much a part of our shared history as the moments we celebrate. Ignoring or minimizing them is dishonest and disrespectful. Confronting and talking about the ugly parts of history with clear eyes and open hearts is essential. It won't heal historic wounds alone, but it does remind us they are there, and why, so we and future generations do not open them again.

Watch the video below (warning: depiction of child abuse).

Cats are notoriously weird. Everyone who's had cats knows that they each have their own unique quirks, idiosyncrasies, preferences, habits, and flat-out WTFness.

But even those of us who have experience with bizarre cat behavior are blown away by the antics this "cat dad" is able to get away with.

Kareem and Fifi are the cat parents of Chase, Skye, and Millie—literally the most chill kitties ever. They share their family life on TikTok as @dontstopmeowing, and their videos have been viewed millions of times. When you see them, you'll understand why.

Take Chase's spa days, for example. It may seem unreal at first, but watch what happens when Fifi tries to take away his cucumber slices.

When she puts them back on his eyes? WHAT?! What cat would let you put them on once, much less get mad when you take them off?

This cat. Chase is living his best life.

But apparently, it's not just Chase. Skye and Millie have also joined in "spaw day." How on earth does one couple end up with three hilariously malleable cats?

Oh, and if you think they must have been sedated or something, look at how wide awake they are during bath time. That's right, bath time. Most cats hate water, but apparently, these three couldn't care less. How?

They'll literally do anything. The Don't Stop Meowing channel is filled with videos like this. Cats wearing glasses. Cats wearing hats. Cats driving cars. It's unbelievable yet highly watchable entertainment.

If you're worried that Kareem gets all the love and Fifi constantly gets the shaft, that seems to be a bit for show. Look at Chase and Fifi's conversation about her leaving town for a business trip:

The whole channel is worth checking out. Ever seen a cat being carried in a baby carrier at the grocery store? A cat buckled into a car seat? Three cats sitting through storytime? It's all there. (Just a heads up: A few of the videos have explicit language, so parents might want to do a preview before watching with little ones.) You can follow the couple and their cats on all their social media channels, including Instagram and YouTube if TikTok isn't your thing, here.

If you weren't a cat person before, these videos might change your mind. Fair warning, however: Getting a cat because you want them to do things like this would be a mistake. Cats do what they want to do, and no one can predict what weird traits they will have. Even if you raise them from kittenhood, they're still unpredictable and weird.

And honestly, we wouldn't have them any other way.

True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

Keep Reading Show less

There have been many iconic dance routines throughout film history, but how many have the honor being called "the greatest" by Fred Astaire himself?

Fayard and Harold Nicholas, known collectively as the Nicholas Brothers, were arguably the best at what they did during their heyday. Their coordinated tap routines are legendary, not only because they were great dancers, but because of their incredible ability to jump into the air and land in the splits. Repeatedly. From impressive heights.

Their most famous routine comes from the movie "Stormy Weather." As Cab Calloway sings "Jumpin' Jive," the Nicholas Brothers make the entire set their dance floor, hopping and tapping from podium to podium amongst the musicians, dancing up and down stairs and across the top of a piano.

But what makes this scene extra impressive is that they performed it without rehearsing it first and it was filmed in one take—no fancy editing room tricks to bring it all together. This fact was confirmed in a conversation with the brothers in a Chicago Tribune article in 1997, when they were both in their 70s:

"Would you believe that was one of the easiest things we ever did?" Harold told the paper.

"Did you know that we never even rehearsed that number?" added Fayard.

"When it came time to do that part, (choreographer) Nick Castle said: 'Just do it. Don`t rehearse it, just do it.' And so we did it—in one little take. And then he said: 'That's it—we can't do it any better than that.'"

Keep Reading Show less