Lost Souls: Tom Jackson's new single speaks to the realities of residential schools
The latest single from actor, singer and activist Tom Jackson portrays the heartbreaking realities of Canada’s residential school system.
In ‘Lost Souls,’ Jackson shuffles between the perspectives of the residential school children and the government with lines that include, “You get so much praise for your long, beautiful braid. Your life is in your hair. I’ll cut it. You say a prayer,” and "If this stays hidden, there is no villain. If you want to defeat the Indian, take away their children."
Jackson, whose mother is a residential school survivor, said he felt compelled to write the song after hearing about the discovery of the unmarked graves of 215 children at the site of the former Kamloops residential school in British Columbia.
“I thought, I need to write something on the moment when I saw this story,” he said on CTV Morning Live on Thursday.
“If I’m going to do it, I’d better tell the truth as far as I knew it. I think if we’re going to heal, sometimes it takes pain.”
Jackson said that spiritual healing is a journey that everyone has to go through by talking about tragedies. He said if these stories are ignored, they will just get buried again.
“We cannot heal, we cannot lose that pain if we don’t keep the conversation going,” he said.
“My whole intent is to make sure that we do not stop talking about this.”
Jackson added that reconciliation can only come once people find the truth.
He hopes that when people hear this song and watch the video, they will like it and share it.
“Share it with people with the message that they have to watch it, like it and share it,” Jackson said.
After that, Jackson wants people to pick up their phone and call someone to tell them they love them.
“Could you imagine if 100 people watch this video and then they call somebody and they tell them they love them, how different the world would be in, what, five minutes? Imagine if you could change the world for the better in five minutes?” he said.
With the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation coming up on Sept. 30, Jackson said he hopes people do not only focus on the negative.
“It’s not just a day to reflect on the negative things going on in the world, not just the tragic things that are going on in the world, but the magic that goes on in the world of Indigenous people,” he said.
‘Lost Souls’ will be played as part of the Manitoba 150 special airing on Saturday, Sept. 25 on CTV Winnipeg.
- With files from CTV’s Nicole Dube.