LeRoy Goertz family history

All of my grandparents were Mennonites from Russia.  They came to Saskatchewan, Canada during the early part of the last century. We, too, have a history of being a persecuted minority.  However, that history didn’t open our eyes to seeing that genocide against the Native people in North America had been going on for centuries.

During the early part of the last century in Manitoba, Canada’s First Nations people left their homes to hunt buffalo, and the government of Manitoba “gave” their homes to Mennonites.  When I learned this, I felt like I had been stabbed in my heart.  Treaties also were broken in Saskatchewan, Canada and land taken away from First Nations people there; some relatives of mine are still farming that land.

The same thing happened here in the US, of course.  Treaties were broken with Native Americans here and my people have gained from the genocidal mentality toward Native people.

I want to apologize to First Nations people throughout North American for the person I would have been if I had lived during that time; I would not have had the insight that I have today.  I am working on ways that my people can recognize how much we have benefitted from genocide by obtaining large tracts of land for ourselves for farming.  My hope is that together we can find ways to apologize to our Native friends for what has happened.

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