Today's Story Line

Today's stories deal largely with people who are unwelcome because they are different or uninvited. Native Canadians are seeking financial redress for the treatment they received in boarding schools designed to assimilate them into white Christian society. But the lawsuits may leave Canada's major churches bankrupt, if the federal government doesn't take some responsibility for the programs it funded.

In South Africa, black immigrants are facing a violent backlash from black South Africans. The reaction is partly a legacy of a closed apartheid society. Several programs are now starting to address this aggressive xenophobia.

Refugees from Afghanistan, Iraq, and China are arriving by the thousands in Australia. These illegal immigrants seeking asylum rioted this week over the conditions in detention centers (page 4). But Australian officials don't want the facilities to be too inviting; they're trying to reduce the flow of uninvited guests.

David Clark Scott World editor


*HEART-RENDING TALES: The hardest part of a reporter's job is often what gets left out of a story because there isn't enough space. For today's story, the Monitor's Ruth Walker drove about 11 hours each way to speak with native Canadians on a reservation in northern Ontario. She sat in a community center surrounded by a dozen aboriginals, who each talked about what it was like going to a boarding school designed to "civilize" them. "You worry that you haven't done justice to their stories," says Ruth. "One man told me his brother died at school. They all went to bed and in the morning the bed was empty. No explanation. Another said that his parents grew up in the schools, so they refused to send him. He taught himself to read using comic books," says Ruth.

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