Healing Gaia

Yes, Canada Did Commit Cultural Genocide

Victors write the history books, but they forget that memories are long and passed from generation to generation.

By Doreen Nicoll
Published June 11, 2015

Victors write the history books. They write versions that are coloured by their perceptions and the image they want to portray. They hope that time will erase any trace of wrongdoing or injustices imposed on others. But they forget that memories are long and passed from generation to generation. They forget that some bystanders will not be silenced or stopped until justice is served.

After reading recent newspaper op-eds by (Betty L. Reade](http://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/5666780-residential-schools-never-hid-their-mission/) and Richard Gwyne, it's time Canadian history books were rewritten and the disturbing truth laid bare.

In June 1749, Governor Edward Cornwallis establish Halifax thereby violating earlier treaties with the Mi'kmaq (1726). When Mi'kmaq fought against this expansion the British constructed more settlements and forts. On October 2, 1749, Cornwallis placed a bounty on the head of every Mi'kmaq man, woman and child. Ten guineas, the equivalent of $19 today, was paid for each scalp. Cornwallis meant to eradicate the Mi'kmaq.

The Indian Act passed by Canada's Parliament in 1874 effectively imprisoned Aboriginals on reserve lands, making them legal wards of the state.

Proof of genocide exists in the form of letters documenting the distribution of small pox infected blankets by the British to Aboriginals during the battle of Fort Pitt, Saskatchewan in 1885.

In 1884 Ottawa passed legislation creating state-funded, church administered Indian Residential Schools. In 1920 the federal government mandated that Aboriginal children must attend residential schools from age seven to fifteen.

In 1928 the Sexual Sterilization Act was passed in Alberta. Anyone attending a native residential school could be sterilized upon the approval of the school Principal. At least 3,500 women were sterilized under this law.

In 1933, British Columbia passed the same Sexual Sterilization Act. The United Church established sterilization centres in Bella Bella and Nanaimo. Thousands of native men and women were sterilized until the 1980's.

That same year, residential school principals were made the legal guardians of all native students. This law required Indigenous parents to surrender custody or face imprisonment.

The federal government attempted to close all residential schools in 1938, but gave in to pressure from Catholic and Protestant church leaders.

From 1946 until the 1970's a Central Intelligence Agency used students from Canadian residential schools as involuntary test subjects with the consent of the churches.

During the 1940's and 50's, Health Canada used children from residential schools in medical experiments.

Even after the last residential school closed our institutions failed to protect Indigenous children, youth, and women.

B.C. judge David Ramsay pleaded guilty on May 3, 2004, to sexual assault causing bodily harm, breach of trust and three counts of buying sex from a person under 18. The offences took place between 1992 and 2001.

His victims, mostly aboriginal girls living in poverty and in trouble with the law, were subjected to acts of escalating sexual violence. Some were as young as 12 years old. In June 2004, Ramsay was sentenced to seven years in jail. He died January 19, 2008.

In 2015 an RCMP officer in northern Manitoba arrested an intoxicated indigenous woman at a house party only to return, off duty, to request her release into his custody so that he could, "pursue a personal relationship."

In Portage la Prairie, Man., an RCMP constable took a complaint from a woman who was choked, beaten, stripped, and pushed out of a house naked by her boyfriend. The constable failed to interview witnesses and refused to lay charges as per RCMP policy on domestic violence, which states, in part, "A charge will be laid when reasonable and probable grounds exist, irrespective of the willingness of the victim to give evidence."

Respected international and national groups are demanding a national inquiry into Canada's 1,181 missing and murdered Indigenous women. This process must be followed with the timely implementation of recommendations.

The International Convention of the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide on December 9, 1948 set the United Nations definition of genocide [PDF] as any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group:

  1. Killing members of the group
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group
  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group

Using this checklist, Canada is five for five.

Yes, the terms cultural genocide and genocide need to be used when referring to Canada's treatment of Indigenous people because Canada has clearly established a history of persistent attempts at eradicating our Indigenous populations.

As Mr. Gwyn pointed out, "a huge increase is taking place in the number of university-educated aboriginals." This is testimony to the fact that Canada's Indigenous people are able to embrace education as well as cultural traditions and native languages.

Thank goodness they were, and are, strong enough to fight for their rights without giving in to learned hopelessness.

Doreen Nicoll is a feminist and a member of several community organizations working diligently to end poverty, hunger and gendered violence.


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By scrap (anonymous) | Posted June 11, 2015 at 18:44:09

I am in full agreement with this article. i have read a book by Rupert Ross, Indiginious Healing and the atrocicities that have were perpetrated. The battle is not finished considering the atomsphere created by the Harper government.

We as Canadians need to thank and recognize the great sacrafice by Fiirst Nations people whose believe in the British government and their treaties which have been ignored.

The present day Canada would not exist if not for those who were First Nations people who believed in honor of words which ahve been created in the wampums.

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By GabrielN (registered) | Posted June 11, 2015 at 22:01:07

I've read your other perpetual victim narratives and today I will comment.

I don't believe you are interested in history. You are interested in being a Social Justice Warrior and continuing the victim narrative so you can feel purposeful.

I know this to be true, because you copied your facts almost verbatim from a site by Kevin Annett, one of the biggest frauds in this whole Native genocide.

You're not interested in history. Maybe you should just go back to writing about how women are oppressed in the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.

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By Harvinder (anonymous) | Posted June 11, 2015 at 22:02:42 in reply to Comment 112191


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By DEHSmith (registered) | Posted June 11, 2015 at 23:46:03

‘YOU’ Committed, &/or, Enabled Secret 'Cultural Genocide' Against Aboriginal Canadians’ , or, Was it Corporate Canada’s (The Canadian Establishment’s) Secret 'Cultural Genocide' Committed Against Aboriginal Canadians’?

The Basis for Legislation that Protects All Canadians from the Canadian Establishment, its Secrecy (Treaties/’Arrangements) & Continuing to Play the Most Vulnerable Native Community members off of the Most Vulnerable non Native Community members; Designer ‘Racism’. Private Citizens’ Bills to Off-Set Secretive Sinecure Senate.

Does the Global Corporate Economy really want to Sign Treaties/'Arrangements' (TPP, CETA, C-CIT/FIPA, et al) with Corporate Canada, Pay for The WAD Accord's Compensations, Sue the harmless non shareholders of Canada, &/or, Corporate Canada, et al, etc.?

At the risk of annoying Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin & the Justices of The Supreme Court of Canada while they consider the merits of ‘The Submission’ to The SUPREME COURT of CANADA: ‘The SHAREHOLDERS & Corporations of AMERICA, Australia, Canada, et al vs. the harmless Canadian NON shareholders, both; Native & non Native, et al’ (see; davidehsmith.wo¬rdpress.com) including 'The MERKEL (Chancellor of Germany) Letter; To Sue, or, Be Sued?' (see; davidehsmith.wo¬rdpress.com),

would it be more accurate if the Chief Justice said that it was corporate Canada & its associated religious & governmental leaders that attempted 'cultural genocide' on Aboriginal Canadians as opposed to saying the vague remark that is was ‘Canada’ that attempted the aforementioned 'cultural genocide'? And, what other nations are, &/or, can be, implicated as a consequence of being co-signatories to the recent flurry of Global Treaties/'Arrangements' with Canada? See; Google; 'Canadians & Canadian Corporations to Sue China's Government; The Little Guy to Pay, AGAIN’ & 'The MERKEL (Chancellor of Germany) Letter; To Sue, or, Be Sued?'

Prime Minister Harper; 'Blaming & Punishing Those Who Have Been Deliberately Deprived of the Info’; ‘Inquiry’ Settlements Protect Gratified Rapists, Pedophiles, et al; Courts Only Forum for Justices, Guilt & Reconciliation. RECONCILIATION between: Native & NON Native Canadians AND the Government of Canada & corporate Canada'. • Excerpts are from "TOWARDS A MORE INFORMED OPINION regarding the Environmental Impact& Context of the Enbridge's Northern Gateway (Pipeline) Project (NGP), et al" by DEHS. (Last Edited; Nov., 2014) "It is also in the spirit of reconciliation between the most vulnerable Native & non-Native Canadians, et al, that ...it seems that most Canadians are insulted for being blamed for PM Harper deliberately depriving non-Native Canadians, & the the world court of public opinion...of the information...& then have the "bright idea" of blaming the people who have been deprived of the information...Therefore, once again the governments are covering for those who need to continue to benefit from the deprivation of the information. And, this time Canadians are being deprived of the information embodied in the comprehensive version of The WAD Accord, etc., at the peril of the most vulnerable Canadians; the info deprivation is continuing to cost hundreds of billions of dollars.

I would also like to thank those members of First Nations communities, et al, who are trying to help make non-Native Canadians, et al, aware of the problems created by the lobbying process, particularly, at the level of the federal government that has resulted in the present "diasporas'" fear regarding their suggesting alternatives, improvements, etc., to the Aboriginal political process...

And, in the spirit of the reconciliation of the First Nation in Canada & the people of Canada, I think that it is a very appropriate place to apologize on behalf of: 1) the (individuals &) group of Canadians that were, amongst other things, sexually "satisfied", &/or, gratified, et al, by their abuses in The Residential Schools that caused the compensation, et al, whether the abuse was; a) sexual, b) physical, c) psychological, d) racial, e) cultural, f) religious, et al, & /or, g) et al, 2) the Canadians that, not only caused the environment that permitted the abuses, but, also deprived the Canadian public & the world of the information about the abuses for so long, including; a) the executives of the relevant political parties of Canada, b) the relevant lobbyists, if any, & c) their political representatives sitting in the Parliament of Canada, for continuing in their attempts to off-load their responsibility & their guilt on to the information deprived public.

Is it regrettable, or, convenient that the Canadian inquiry looking into the Residential Schools abuses deprived the public of the large amount of information that could have been elucidated by plea bargaining defendants in any adversarial, criminal prosecutions? Furthermore, this protection afforded by inquiries, in general, as opposed to criminal prosecutions, provides a great deal of succour for those who are the direct beneficiaries of the information deprivation as it enables the "deprivers" to continue to assist their global associates in their associates' quest to acquire, manage, control & transport the natural resources that are continuing to be found in Canada"...

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By disfnctnl anonmsly (anonymous) | Posted June 12, 2015 at 15:22:24

Comment Anonymously dont really work worth doin it

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By LOL_all_over_again (registered) | Posted June 12, 2015 at 20:17:11

It's difficult if not impossible to really appreciate the decisions and actions from decades let alone centuries ago. Society's morals and standards change almost daily. We can look back to the internment of the Canadian Japanese during WW2 with disbelief. But at the time there was little if any public opposition.

The history books are full of countries and peoples breaking treaties. The white man did it, the natives did it, the Japanese did it, everybody has done it. Sometimes it just comes down to who is going to break it first. To try and single out the wrongs that Canada has perpetuated against the natives without putting it into historical perspective is pretty much impossible. There is no doubt that Canada committed some wrongs. There is also no doubt that the natives have committed some too. In fact they continue to do so. Go talk to the people of Caledonia. It is now at the point where the natives are basically above the law. What goes around comes around.

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By DrAwesomesauce (registered) | Posted June 12, 2015 at 20:38:27

This site's become a bit of a bummer...

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