A Critique of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission is a hoax contrived by the legal establishment to evade culpability for its ongoing culling of that part of the indigenous race which relies upon constitutional and international law to protect its human rights. Another part embraced the federal legislation and recently-invented judge-made law under the auspices of which the Indian territories genocidally were invaded, beginning with the 1876 Indian Act. The modus operandi of the legal establishment and its collaborating Indian accomplices is the suppression of the constitutional and international law that the establishment intentionally is breaking.1

“A truth commission or truth and reconciliation commission is a commission tasked with discovering and revealing past wrongdoing by a government, in the hope of resolving conflict left over from the past.”2 The crucial phrase is “wrongdoing by a government.” A “wrongdoing” consists in “wrongful conduct, misconduct, actus reus.”3Actus reus” is “the Latin term for the ‘guilty act’ which, when proved beyond a reasonable doubt in combination with the mens rea, ‘guilty mind,’ produces criminal liability…”4 It is specifically crimes or lesser wrongdoings “by a government” that such commissions, if genuine, exist to expose as the precondition to reconciliation based upon truth.

Article 2 of the contract creating the Residential Schools Commission stipulates, “Pursuant to the Court-approved final settlement agreement and the class action judgment, the Commissioners:… (f) shall perform their duties…without making any finding or expressing any conclusion or recommendation, regarding the misconduct of any person, unless such finding or recommendation has already been established through legal proceedings…Further, the Commission shall not make any reference in any of its activities or in its report or recommendations to the possible civil or criminal liability of any person or organization, unless such findings or information about the individual or institution has already been established through legal proceedings.”5

In consequence of these limitations, the commission can not expose wrongdoings of the government. This is not only an expensive fraud upon the public but a cruel imposition upon the victims, who are encouraged to air their innermost suffering in the mistaken belief that it will lead to closure. The commission itself recognizes its task is only, “to document the truth of survivors, their families, communities and anyone who has been personally affected by the Indian Residential Schools (IRS) legacy.” The commission will look at symptoms but neither the cause nor the liability of the causer. It can not and will not investigate crimes by the government.

The lead federal negotiator of the settlement contract was Frank Iacobucci of the Tory Law Firm that specializes in serving blue chip corporate clients whose business interest diametrically is opposed to the truth concerning the genocidally unconstitutional invasion of the Indian territories for commercial purposes. Iacobucci “was appointed Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General of Canada. In September 1988 he was appointed Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Canada. He was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Canada on January 7, 1991.”6 He joined the Tory Firm in 2004 after he had retired from the Supreme Court. In all of these capacities he committed and is committing genocide willfully by blindsiding and suppressing constitutional and international law.

The contracting parties7 are Canada’s federal government, its collaborating Assembly of First Nations, churches that operated the schools as federal government agents, and those particular victims of the impugned school system as are represented by lawyers in a set of class actions in courts across Canada. The judges in those cases gave judgment accepting the contract in settlement of the actions, and stipulating in its Schedule N for the creation and the jurisdiction of the commission.5 Then the federal public service civil list was amended8 to add the commission and its entourage of lawyers, researchers and consultants to the federal payroll.

The more it changes the more it stays the same.

  1. Bruce A. Clark (2008) “Judicial Culpability for War and Genocide in the Age of American Empire,” Global Jurist: Vol.8: Iss.3 (Frontiers), Article 6. []
  2. Truth and reconciliation commission,” Wikipedia. []
  3. Wrongdoing,” Word Reference. []
  4. Actus reus,” Wikipedia. []
  5. Schedule N, “Mandate for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.” [] []
  6. Biographical Sketch of
    The Honourable Mr. Justice Frank Iacobucci
    ,” University of Toronto Department of Italian Studies. []
  7. See “Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.” []
  8. Canada Order in Council P.C. 2008-799 April 25, 2008, promulgated pursuant to the Public Service Employment Act, sections 12 and 13. Canada Gazette, Vol. 142, No. 10, May 14, 2008. []

Bruce Clark, Ph.D. in jurisprudence, is an Indigenous rights activist and author of Native Liberty, Crown Sovereignty: The Existing Aboriginal Right of Self Government in Canada and Justice in Paradise. Read other articles by Bruce, or visit Bruce's website.

40 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozhidar bob balkas said on November 17th, 2008 at 8:24am #

    in other words all of canada belongs to euroasians. and every folk can be as ethnocentric to the degree it wishes or is able to accomplish.
    and as long as any folk does not surpass econo-military-political might of the french, english, ashekenazic peoples.
    its called multyculturalism. thnx

  2. John Hatch said on November 18th, 2008 at 1:52pm #

    All my life (I’m 58) I’ve heard politicians deplore our racist history and promise to do something to improve the squalid conditions in which so many Natives are forced to live. Over and over and over. And yet I’ve never seen the slightest improvement. Golf courses still take precedence over Native justice. Parks are more important than Native burial grounds, and police will even murder Natives over the issue, with government connivance.

    We hear of all the money being spent on Indian Affairs’. True. But the money goes to highly paid government bureaucrats, thousands of them, not to housing or jobs or improvement to Native lives.

    It’s astonishing that Canadians could have been so sadistic, so deluded, so racist as to establish a system of residential schools to terrorize children. No wonder we have such a hard time admitting what we did. And in the name of religion, too. What idiots!

  3. alhambra said on November 20th, 2008 at 1:04pm #

    June 11, 2008 (AV045)

    Residential Schools Propaganda?
    While many Aboriginals suffered horrific abuse in Canada’s residential schools system, it should be remembered that not all suffered and many had positive experiences

    In Brief:

    Residential schools were based on an unjustified attempt to warehouse First Nations and remove them from their families. This policy largely failed as most Aboriginals returned to their reserves where their culture was strong.
    While many suffered sexual and physical abuse, this has been exaggerated by media. Many First Nations said they received educational opportunities through the schools they would not have had on-reserve.
    While abuse left scars on many residential school survivors, it is unfortunate that some use blame the experiences on every problem, even if they did not directly experience the school system.
    In northern Manitoba, children attending residential schools returned with improved hockey skills and improved language fluency. They also benefitted from better access to sports equipment. Amidst all the negative stories, many teachers at these schools deserve recognition.
    It should be remembered that many lawyers have a vested interest in spreading propaganda about the schools as they stand to benefit financially.

    The residential school years were, without doubt, a terrible experience for some native students. One can only imagine the torment of being unable to escape one’s abusers. Today many still suffer the effects of being molested by those who preached right and wrong. But not all students suffered; some gained much by being able to attend these institutions.

    FRONTIER CENTRE FOR PUBLIC POLICY – 203 – 2727 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada R3J 0R2, Tel: (204) 957-1567 Fax: (204) 957-1570, E-mail: gro.ppcfnull@saediwen

  4. Kim Petersen said on November 20th, 2008 at 8:04pm #

    Propaganda alhambra?

    What is the point of acknowledging “horrendous abuse” and then stating that not everyone suffered? That could be argued for most anything. Many Iraqis have suffered horribly from US aggression and occupation, but not all have suffered. Not all Jews suffered under Nazism. What are we supposed to infer? That Nazism was okay because not all suffered? That the invasion of Iraq was okay because not all have suffered? That Canada’s Indian residential school system was okay because not all suffered?

    What is the point of asserting many lawyers “have a vested interest in spreading propaganda about the schools as they stand to benefit financially”? Are you insinuating that Bruce Clark, a man who sacrificed a very comfortable life style and career to join the struggle for justice by Original Peoples, is benefiting financially? With all due respect, before making fallacious assertions and spreading innuendo, get the facts straight and logic sound.

  5. alhambra said on November 21st, 2008 at 1:19pm #

    Thank you for your comments.

    The problem is that native groups have been exaggerating the residential school situation- exaggerating in the sense that they want to pretend that there was only one side to the issue: abuse. There wasn’t only one side. There were other sides, and other natives who say that the residential school experience was the best experience of their growing up years.

    But once lawyers and the smell of money enter into the picture, it is very tempting for people- any and all people- to exaggerate the abuse they suffered for the sake of getting more money.

    Articles such as Clark’s go out world-wide, and they make Canada look like a land of torturers and oppressors, and this simply is not the case.

    You pose a question, Kim: what are you suppose to infer? How about this for an inference?- that there are at least two sides to every argument, and both sides should be told before either side is judged. That is not “fallacious assertions” or “spreading innuendo” is it?

    Speaking of fallacious assertions and spreading innuendo, why is the Truth and Reconcilliation Commission is mandated only to “finding past wrongdoings by a government”? Why are they mandated to only telling one side of the issue? I have heard former residendial school teachers tell an entirely different story than people such as Clark tell.

    Why will no satisfied students, or former teachers be called on to testify? Surely you want both sides told so that the Commission won’t be making fallacious assertions and spreading innuendo.

  6. John Hatch said on November 21st, 2008 at 2:37pm #

    I think that in our shared experience, there are some things that are simply inexcusable. Native schools belong in that category.

    I was once introduced to an elderly Native man in North Vancouver, a member of the Squamish band. I asked him about his experience at Residential school. He didn’t answer in words, but tears rolled down his face. So many years later. It must’ve been pretty bad.

  7. jgsman said on November 22nd, 2008 at 2:47am #

    Native Residential Schools were genocide:

    http://carnegie.vcn.bc.ca/index.pl/november_1_2004#1714
    http://dominionpaper.ca/original_peoples/2006/10/12/like_weeds.html
    http://www.nativestudies.org/native_pdf/circlegame.pdf

    “our object is to continue until there is not a single Indian that has not been absorbed into the body politic of Canada and there is no more Indian problem…that is the whole purpose of our legislation”
    Dept of Indian Affairs Superintendent General 1921

  8. Dr. John J. Williams said on November 22nd, 2008 at 7:15am #

    The problem here is that the originators of Canada (actually Britain because we are still under the crown) came to a civilized country (North American had 100 million native living here with their own societies) , engaged in an invasion, committed war crimes, and eventually occupied foreign soil and set up an illegal government.
    However, whenever they were losing the war. they signed international nation to nation Peace & Friendship treaties agreeing to co-exist with the natives and to pay through leasing for the lands that had illegally occupied, this went on until the mid-1700′s, when they illegally deported all the natives and killed their leadership, the natives who remained were acknowledged as holding land tenure by the Royal Proclamation, and, since no official surrender treaties were signed, and there were no more legal authorities authorized by the natives to sign a surrender treaty, a systematic program of genocide was initiated by successive government called “the gradual civilization of the Indians” which goes on to this day, it is genocide through attrition and assimilation.
    The Residential schools are or were part of this “civilization of the Indians” statued in the 1867 Canadian Constitution. Together with the Indian Act, The DIAND, the AFN and ongoing entities, the process is nearly complete, no wonder that South Africa sent one of their representative to Canada in the 1930′s to study the Indian act which became down to the most minute detail, the blueprint they used for the apartheid, the only difference was that the reserves were called townships, the rest was the very same..

  9. Gary Metallic, Mi`gmaq Hereditaty Chief said on November 22nd, 2008 at 3:29pm #

    there is no point in debating with this alhambra wether Canada is guilty of genocide, this charge will eventually be brought to a third party impartial International forum in the near future and will eventually answer for the several crimes against our peoples. The reason why i am writing this comment is to set the record straight about Dr Clarks credability being questioned by alhambra in regards to the residential school atrocities against our children and Dr Clarks accurate allegation about Canada violating the rule of law. We had the privilege of having Dr Clark and his family live with us in our reservation in the mid nineties, I had read his book on Native Liberty, Crown Sovereignty and the more I read into it the more I realized about the great frauds being committed by Canada, the judicial system, and its enforcers(RCMP, Provincial Police) and last the so called indian constitution lawyers who continue to siphon millions of dollars from us. We tracked him to where he was living in New York State and asked him if he could come to our reservation and help us with an international child custody case where we were challenging Canadas and Quebecs supposed pretended jurisdiction, because of his no nonsense legal arguments that Canada and the provinces dont have jurisdiction on unceded indian lands, and by inspiring us to revive our traditional governing systems and ancestoral courts, we were able to stop Canada and the province right in their tracks in trying to assert their pretended jurisdiction. It was also about this time that Dr Clark stood before the Supreme Court judges and accused them of aiding and abeting in the genocide against our peoples, for this he paid a terrible price, We saw what the judges did to him and his family for exposing the great frauds against our peoples. While he and his family were still living with us, Dr Clark had gone to Vancouver, B.C and was arrested by the RCMP and imprisoned, not to forget that the judges also declared him insane and eventually they disbarred him from ever practicing law again, he lost everything that he achieved in his career in defending our legitimate status as sovereign nations. He did not have to do this, he simply could have laid to rest that Canada and the Judicial system were committing these great frauds against us and never argue this again in the courts and try to resume in his professional and family life. We are truly grateful for the time that he and his family were with us and still are using his international arguments to this day in having our sovereignty eventually recognized by Canada through international remedies. In CONCLUSION the Residential School compensation does not amount to any admission of guilt by Canada or the institutions, we need to have a similar reconciliation of truth like South Africa when aparthied ended and the oppressors were made to admit to their crimes and ask for forgiveness from the victims, and Canada has to also admit their crimes also in order for any healing to begin, otherwise this will be like an open sore on Canadas body that will never heal.

  10. Bruce Clark said on November 24th, 2008 at 8:09am #

    Dr John Williams in an otherwise succinct and brilliant overview of the “progress of civilization” ethic appears to missapprehend that the genocidal process was “statued in the 1867 Canadian Constitution.”

    If that were true then it rationally could be argued that the courts of Canada being bound by the primary duty to uphold the rule of law, which in a constitutional democracy begins with the People’s constitution, have no choice but to conclude that the genocidal policy of forced assimilation is “the law.”

    If that were true the Indian nations would share the same burden of dehumanized inequality as the descendants of slaves prior to the 13th Amendment of the U.S. constitution, as decided by the United States Supreme Court held by the 1857 Dred Scott case.

    But it is not true. As U.S. court explained in that decision the position of slaves and natives was profoundly different. Slaves inceptively had no constitutional rights whereas the native nations constitutionally were sovereign for all practical purposes, save that of not being able to sell their land to just anybody.

    This difference is everything from a constitutional law perspective, precisely because the only way in which a constitutionally-designated status is capable of being modified is by means of a legislative constitutional amendment. That is the reason the 13th Amendment was, and indeed had to be enacted in order to remove their constitutional disadvantage.

    The courts could not do it, because they have no jurisdiction to modify the constitution.

    By the same token the native nations’ advantage of sole possession and exclusive jurisdiction pending treaty can not be taken away by the courts. Only a constitutional amendment could have purported to achieve that objective. No such amendment exists.

    The courts since the 1960s have simply exceeded their jurisdiction by effectively repealing native sovereignty, which is a constitutional impossibilty. They achieved this by refusing to let the constiutional question into the court system. This refusal is what the commentator Gary Metallic identified as his and his own native nation’s experience in the Canadian court system.

    This refusal is what makes the courts the criminal perpetrators not only of the genocide of the traditional native nations but of the treason and fraud of negating the supremacy of the constitution and, correspondingly, of replacing constitutional democracy under the rule of law with judicial oligarchy.

    None of this would be true or even arguably true if, as Dr Williams seems to have said, the “progress of civilization” genocide was “statued in the 1867 Canadian Constitution.” I assume (suject of course to Dr Williams identifying an alternative) he was relying upon the 1867 constituion’s section 91.24 allocation to the federal parliament jurisdiction relative to “Indians, and lands reserved for the Indians.”

    Seen is isolation that section appears to support his conclusion. But it can not be so read. The basic rule of statury construction is that all sections must be read in light of the whole instrument. Section 109 and the precedents establish that the crown’s constitutional “Interest” is “subject to” the indigenous constitutional “Interest.” Since section 109 is both subsequent to and more specific than section 91.24, it governs.

    In the result, all that section 91.24 establishes is the federal parliament’s jurisdiction to regulate Indian affairs once the indigenous constitutional interest has been surrender by a constitutionally valid treaty.

    The commentator “alambra” remarks that the residential school system operated to the advantage of some of its students, which is probably quite true. Some sucessfully were acculturated and assimilated and, in virtue of that transition, were enabled to aid and abet Canada’s genocide.

    As in all invaded and occupied countries the indigenous population was divided the better to conquer it. The sucessfully assimilated natives became agents in the genocide, much the same as the AFN is the client organization of the federal government and, as such, an accomplice.

    As Mr Metallic says, it is not over. So long as free people love equity and justice remian alive it can never be over. Thank you Gary on behalf of all such idealists, including me, for your courage and strength of character. And for not dying before the race has been won.

  11. alhambra said on November 24th, 2008 at 11:51am #

    Thank you one and all for your comments.
    To John Hatch:
    I agree that some horrible things have happened, that never should have happened. But not everyone’s experience was bad, and all I am asking for is that both sides of this issue be heard from before we make judgement. How unreasonable is that?
    “Residential schools” is also used too much as an excuse for bad behaviour. For example, on some reserves the percentage of children who have FAS (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum) can be as high as 50. FAS goes a long way toward explaining why so many natives are over-represented in jails, and under-represented in the boardrooms. Yet if you ask the chiefs why so many native children have FAS, almost certainly they will say ‘residential schools’- all of which were closed down about 40 years ago. Many groups- Jews for example- have been dealt a bad hand in life; but Jews did not use history as an excuse to drink their unborn children into brain-dead stupors. Indeed, Jews excel, inspite of history. Now, maybe some of the Native leaders could cancel a few of their vacations (Las Vegas is a favorite destination for Indian Chiefs), stop finger-pointing, stop with the legal jargon,and actually get down to the business of addressing their peoples’ problems.

    To jgsman:
    Well, yes, Canada did have a policy of assimilation. Was that really so wrong? Canada had, and continues to have, an apartied system called ‘reserves’, for which Canada has been criticized, internationally. Yet when Canada tried to get rid of apartied- assimilation- the Natives call that ‘genocide’. You can’t have it both ways, guys: either apartied is evil, or assimilation is evil- take your pick. Most of the world’s peoples would say that apartied is wrong. But jgsman- in your heart of hearts- can you honestly say that assimilation- treating all people the same- is an evil plot?

    To Dr. Williams:
    There is a difference between history and mythology, and you are mostly speaking the latter. If you care to read your treaties, what you will find is that they are seperate agreements between some of Her Magesty’s subjects, and the Crown. There never was a notion of country-to-country negotiations, nor of any inherent right to self-government.

    To Gary Metallic:
    I never did besmerch the character of Bruce Clark. He sounds like a right-honourable and learned gentleman. All I am saying- again and again- is that if you are going to use words such as ‘genocide’ infront of the international community, then both sides of the story MUST be told, for the sake of truth. Sir, do you really think that, if the international community starts to treat Canada like an international pariah, as had happened to South Africa, you will come out a winner?

    Be careful what you wish for, guys.

  12. jgsman said on November 24th, 2008 at 8:20pm #

    Clearly the issues involved are highly contentious and relevent. Strongly recommend that all interested check out Dr. Clark’s article: “Judicial Culpability for War and Genocide in the Age of American Empire” at Global Jurist (see footers) and/or read his excellent book: Justice in Paradise also mentioned above. Thanks for DV for making this possible!
    jgs

  13. Gary Metallic,Mig`maq Hereditary Chief said on November 28th, 2008 at 6:18pm #

    In response to Alhambras comments on nov,24, 2008, I would usually begin with a thank you for your comments, but in this case I found your comments to be offensive and insensitive towards our peoples by trying to marginalize the Political, Cultural ,and Economic Genocide that we suffered at the hands of the newcomers. Alhambras comments about our peoples using the residential school system as an excuse for bad behaviour especially in the widespread use of alcohol causing F.A.S. ( fetal alcohol syndrome )among our children is disturbing and misleading. He goes on to compare us and the Jewish peoples, where he states that they the Jews were dealt a bad hand in life, but they didnt drink their unborn children into brain dead stupors and that the jews excelled in spite of their history is a weak arguement that only paints a picture of false illusion. I wonder if Alhambra had made these same statements about the Jews using their Holocaust as an excuse for their bad behaviour would have been prosecuted for hate crimes,while the Jewish Holocaust was real and six million of their peoples perished during Hitlers Nazi regime, the world after WWII came to the aid of the Jewish peoples and helped them restore their nation called Israel. Their persecuters were sought out throughout the world and prosecuted for their crimes at the the special tribunals that were set up especially for them so that justice was carried out for these crimes against them, special laws were created Internationally to prevent hate crimes against their peoples to prosecute any one who dared to question the jewish Holocaust, and we say, rightfully so. This is the reason why the Jewish Peoples can excell, because justice prevailed, the rule of law prevailed, and their persecuters were brought to justice, what happened to our justice, where was the rule of law when many more millions of our peoples were exterminated by the Newcomer Conquerers. It is historically recorded that we were about a 100 million before the newcomers intrusion in North America, and our populations were reduced to mere millions after the systematic genocide, so , Alhambra, its just not about using the residential schooling for our bad behaviour, and finger pointing ,it goes deeper than that. You ask about Assimiliation, is treating all peoples the same an evil plot, my answer to this is, while an immigrant who enters canada or the U.S openly embraces assimilation because he or she come from a poor country and sees the abundance of riches to be had here, naturally they will embrace citizenship to have access to the wealth. In our cases as the original peoples and still title holders to our ancestoral lands and resources that were illegally taken by the newcomers (Canada and U.S. ) AND then subjected to the systematic Cultural, Political, and Economic Genocide,yes, we consider their assimilation policies an evil plot. In conclusion you ask that if we accuse Canada or the U.S. of genocide in the International forum, that both sides of the story be heard, Alhambra, for your information, Dr Clark and I had through several avenues invited the courts to take such a route to maintain impartiality only to have them blindside our requests to take our cases to the International Adjudication process, we can only assume that they are afraid of being exposed for using man made law to evade the rule of law. Right now Canada is an International Pariah, when it comes to the Aboriginal peoples, no matter which way you slice it, and yes when that day comes when we are able to expose it for what it is, we and our peoples will be victorious, without a doubt. Thank You Bruce for lighting that fire of sovereignty within me, it still burns as intensley as it did when I first read your book and when we asserted our jurisdiction in the courts, that same light is also burning within our Algonquin brother and sisters, so you can be reassured it will not be extinguished, Peace, and Alhambra, I too strongly recommend that you somehow try to get the Books that Dr Clark wrote about our plight and read them, perhaps that same light may find its way mysteriously into your heart.

  14. Bob McCafferty said on December 2nd, 2008 at 7:17pm #

    Bruce,
    How have you been? Say hi to Margaret, David, Beau, and Zoe.
    Bob McCafferty

  15. alhambra said on December 12th, 2008 at 12:40pm #

    SINS OF THE PAST White guilt, dead children -in the name of political correctness Trying to place aboriginal kids with family members has created a deadly double standard
    MARGARET WENTE October 13, 2007 In 2005, a boy named Gage Guimond was born in Winnipeg. His mother was a 16-year-old aboriginal girl, and he was her second child. A few months after his birth, the aboriginal child-protection agency took him into custody. They placed him with an experienced foster family, where he thrived. But they wanted him to live with an aboriginal family member. First, they badgered his paternal grandmother – a 46-year-old with 11 children and 12 grandchildren of her own – to take him. When that didn’t work out, they took him from his safe and loving foster home and sent him to live with another relative, who was a stranger. Six weeks later, he was dead, battered to a pulp. He was barely 2. You could say Gage Guimond was a sacrifice to political correctness. He died in the care of a racialized child-protection system that puts “culture” and family ties ahead of kids. You could also say he died of white guilt – as the province’s authorities, in their haste to redress old wrongs, created new ones. He was not the first native child to die this way, and he won’t be the last. No one knows more about this sorry story than Lindor Reynolds, a columnist and reporter with the Winnipeg Free Press. She and reporter Mia Rabson have written a devastating series of articles about the consequences of transferring child-protection services to native agencies in Manitoba. It’s safe to say they’re not too popular. “You can’t call into question the devolution process without being accused of overt racism,” said Ms. Reynolds. In recent years, the responsibility for aboriginal children’s welfare has been transferred to native agencies across the country. The idea was that native agencies would do a better job working with native families, and would be less quick to diagnose certain cultural traditions as “neglect” that warranted removing the child from the home. Meantime, the provincial authorities, all too mindful of an era when white people separated large numbers of native children from their communities, were eager to get off the hook. They want to distance themselves from that well-intentioned crime, which is now known as “cultural genocide.” Starting in 2003, child protection in Manitoba “devolved” from one central authority to four new ones – two for native kids, one for Métis and one for everyone else. The system was already an overburdened mess, and devolution threw it into total chaos. Staff turnover was massive. Caseloads were
    impossible, and many of the newly hired native caseworkers were untrained. Files – and kids – were lost. One native girl in care, Phoenix Sinclair, was tortured, killed and buried in the woods; it was months before anyone noticed she was missing. There were other deaths as well. The new priority was to try to keep aboriginal kids with their families – if not their parents, then someone in the extended family. That meant that, even if a child were flourishing in a non-aboriginal foster home, she’d be moved to live with a relative. Standard risk-management tools were often not applied because they weren’t “culturally appropriate.” “It’s too political,” one long-time senior worker told Ms. Reynolds. “You’re supposed to avoid apprehending children at all costs. You’re told to find the family, find friends, find neighbours. We all said, ‘Children are going to die.’ ” Mike Mackenzie, former director of residential care licensing for the province, said: “I think children are being returned to risk because of race. This was supposed to protect them from cultural genocide. Instead, some of these kids were horribly abused.” Across the country, a disproportionate number of children in care are native. Aboriginals account for about 15 per cent of the Manitoba population, and about 25 per cent of those under 19. But aboriginals and Métis make up 85 per cent of the 7,200 kids in care. Why are these numbers so high? Most native leaders supply the familiar answers: poverty, poor housing, unemployment, addictions. They also blame “colonization” and the residential schools, even though the schools were shut down decades ago. In other words: It’s the white man’s fault. But, privately, some of them put it differently. The problem, they acknowledge, is that so many people who lack the ability or desire to parent are having children. Aboriginal child-protection officials talk a lot about the need for more “capacity-building” and “front-line intervention” and, of course, more culturally sensitive social workers. “We need workers who understand the issues of colonization and residential schools, who won’t just move in and take the kids,” says Elsie Flette, CEO of the Southern First Nations Child and Family Services Authority. But not all the social workers in the world could mend the degradation and human wreckage of some of Canada’s reserves. Two months ago, Canadians were shocked by the death of a six-year-old named Adam Keeper, who lived at the Pauingassi First Nation, 300 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. He drowned after three other boys, ages 7 through 9, forced him to strip naked and pushed him into a lake. How could children be so brutal? The answer isn’t hard to find. Ninety-eight per
    cent of the adults in Pauingassi are alcoholics. Eighty per cent of the adolescents are addicted to solvents. Fifty per cent of the kids under 18 are wards of the child-protection system, and 20 per cent are thought to suffer from varying degrees of fetal alcohol syndrome. The kids who live in this small community appear to be desensitized to violence and death. Nobody wants to say the hard thing: The vastly disproportionate number of native kids in care is a result of widespread social collapse. No one can claim to have the answers. But blaming the white man will no longer do. And white guilt over the sins of the past has simply made matters worse. It has created a deadly double standard that tolerates widespread abuse and neglect of children – so long as they’re aboriginal, not white. Lindor Reynolds believes that, until children’s needs are placed ahead of the battles of adults, more will die in care. That’s not all. The current practice of moving kids around as if they’re toys is a disaster in the making. Many of them will never live with anyone long enough to form the emotional bonds they need to grow up psychologically healthy and secure. They’ll be damaged goods, and their future will be grim. They are tomorrow’s jail population, tomorrow’s addicts, tomorrow’s crack-addled teenaged mothers. But never mind. They’ll have their culture. moc.liamdnaebolgnull@etnewm

  16. Superdog said on December 19th, 2008 at 5:20pm #

    Bruce and others…don’t waste your time with John Williams. He is neither a doctor nor an expert. What you’ll get from him is a set of political drivel where he undermines constantly existing First Nations governments. He has an agenda.

    Your article is pretty spot on. I see a lot of waste in this commission as the true nature of residential schools is something that could only be told by First Nations peoples themselves, but it is not a good story. There are many individuals and families who would distance themselves in this modern age from the atrocities committed under the guise of civilization and this commission seems to protect them more than go after the truth. It truly is a waste.

  17. terra firma said on December 22nd, 2008 at 2:25pm #

    I have to agree with ‘alhambra’.
    There is much much more to the picture that is not being revealed when the issue of , and I loathe the term, “first nations” is mentioned.

    That Canada practices a genocide of aboriginal people is ludicrous yet people living outside of Canada, who aren’t familiar with its politics and the native issue, may read this blog and think that there is something terribly askew with this country. There is something terribly askew with the relative noisemakers and money lusting manipulators.

    I ask, when are we going to see some real honesty regarding these issues? I simply DO NOT trust what many aboriginal “leaders” or advocates have to say nor the guilt feeling politicos of this day. Both are on the gravy train so let’s expose these types and get to the truth and not some fashionable version of overhyped nonsense.

  18. Kim Petersen said on December 22nd, 2008 at 3:15pm #

    terra firma,

    With all due respect, is your merely stating that something is ludicrous supposed to refute it?

    It seems that you trust no one — not Indigenous leaders, not advocates, and not politicos. Well how about the Law Society of Upper Canada ?

    On 19 June 1996, the Law Society of Upper Canada v. Bruce Clark found:

    “The ‘genocide’ of which Mr. Clark speaks is real, and has very nearly succeeded in destroying the Native Canadian community that flourished here when European settlers arrived. No one who has seen many of our First Nation communities can remain untouched by this reality.”

    But maybe you are untouched by this reality terra firma …

  19. alhambra said on December 23rd, 2008 at 2:56pm #

    Late in the autumn of 2007, approximately 87,000 aboriginal people who attended the 130 residential schools, many of which were administered by the Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, and United churches, began receiving payments from the Federal government. For these people, the payment is $10,000 for their first year, or part of it, in residence, and $3,000 for each subsequent year, or part it. It is strange but at the same time a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” about these schools is touring the country conducting hearings. The irony is that if people receive money for their “terrible experiences”, doesn’t that mean the truth is already known?

    Michael Ignatieff, the deputy leader of the Liberal Party, certainly thinks that he knows the truth. In an op-ed article published in the National Post (June 22, 2007), “Setting the Record Straight”, he argues that every aboriginal child who attended a residential school was damaged by the experience. Indeed, he specifically says: “The residential school system…was without question, the most dismaying betrayal of Canada’s first peoples in our history”; and “The worst legacy of the residential schools experience is that it poisoned the wells of faith in education among generations of aboriginal Canadians.”

    In 1966-67 I spent a year as a supervisor in an Anglican residential school, Stringer Hall, in Inuvik, North West Territories, and I kept extensive notes about the residence, the students, and my experiences. Before that, I spent four months living at Old Sun School (named after a famous Chief), an Anglican residential school, on the Blackfoot (Siksika) Reserve in Southern Alberta. Earlier, my wife (a Siksika) spent 10 years at Old Sun (full disclosure: now worth $37,000 in compensation), and even earlier, her parents attended the same school for 8 years. In addition, I completed part of my own high school education in a United Church residential school.

    Overall, I interpret these experiences as suggesting that both positive and negative things happened in residential schools. In fact, when my wife is asked about her school experience, she says that Old Sun was a “private Anglican school”, and she still exchanges Christmas cards with some teachers who are, after more than forty years, personal friends.

    Nevertheless, we now know that some people working in residential schools brutalized the children under their care. Some children, in fact, suffered unspeakable mistreatment at the hands of adults who were charged with caring for them. For this important reason, all people, both aboriginal and non-aboriginal, who abused children should be charged, and if they are convicted, they should pay for their crimes. Additionally, administrators from both the churches and the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs who covered-up these crimes should be charged, and if convicted, they should be punished as well.

    Aboriginal residential schools were far from perfect, but so were most other schools. Many non-aboriginal children, for example, were strapped in their schools; some, unfortunately, were also sexually abused. Attempts have been made to charge and convict pedophiles, but little attempt has been made—so far at least—to charge and convict teachers and administrators who gave corporal punishment to students in non-aboriginal schools. Surprisingly, aboriginal people are being compensated, in part, for receiving corporal punishment which, at the time, was a standard—but brutal—practice in virtually all schools.

    In this context, were aboriginal residential schools the unmitigated disasters as stated by Michael Ignatieff? Frankly, I doubt that his op-ed article has “set the record straight.”

    Most importantly, the great majority of children who went to residential school learned how to read, write, and calculate. Many of them also learned other skills necessary for living in a modern society—the principles of democracy and common law, for example—which would help them participate more fully in both aboriginal and Canadian societies. In fact, today many of the aboriginal leaders, including Phil Fontaine, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, learned some of their negotiating and administrative skills in residential schools. Looking at their success, we know that they learned these lessons well.

    Some children had serious illnesses—TB, chronic ear infections, and ruptured appendices, for example—that were diagnosed and treated only because they attended residential schools. In fact, a number of the children arrived at Stringer Hall with seriously infected bug bites in their scalps that required having their hair washed, cut, and topical antibiotics applied. Some children arrived with serious ear infections, and residential supervisors often provided the appropriate medical treatment. Importantly, a young nurse was on staff at Stringer Hall, and doctors and dentists were on call to treat children, something that probably would not have happened if they were out on the land hunting and fishing with their parents.

    Furthermore, in many residential schools, some administrators and supervisors were aboriginal. At Stringer Hall, for example, two of the six residential supervisors were young Inuit women who, contrary to the common myth, spoke to the children in their mother-tongue. A number of the other employees, both aboriginal and non-aboriginal, also spoke aboriginal languages and used aboriginal gestures in communicating with the children.

    In addition, not all the children who attended residential schools were aboriginal. At Stringer Hall, about 12 percent of the 280 students were non-aboriginal, the children of merchants, missionaries, and trappers from tiny settlements where no schools existed. Of course, it would be almost impossible to build schools and find teachers for these very small settlements and especially for hunting and fishing camps where one or two families lived. For many of these children, there were no reasonable alternatives except for residential schools.

    Finally, it must be noted that some aboriginal children had been physically and sexually abused in their home communities, and not surprisingly, residential schools saved some of them from continued abuse. Unfortunately, this type of abuse happened in both aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities, but it is now considered politically incorrect to say that sexual abuse happened among aboriginal people while fully admitting that it happened among non-aboriginal people.

    Even though this type of information has been available to those who want to find it, Michael Ignatieff did not look very hard before he said: “Another illusion is that the intentions behind the schools were good.” Contrary to his claim, it seems to me that many of the people who worked in residential schools—but certainly not all of them—wanted to help children receive the education that was necessary to survive in the modern world. Most of these people, of course, also wanted to fulfill the evangelistic calling of committed Christians: to help the poor, tend to the weak, and treat the sick.

    As a young student, Michael Ignatieff attended Upper Canada College, an exclusive private residential school in Toronto, and he probably did not know that employees in aboriginal residential schools received very little pay and many sleepless nights for their labour. In Stringer Hall, for example, I was responsible for 85 senior boys, between the ages of 12 and 21, for 22 hours a day, 6 days a week. At that time, the work was difficult even for a strong twenty-one year-old. Today, the reward for former residential school employees is denigration in the national press by people like Mr. Ignatieff and, even more surprisingly, in the churches they served. If other residential school employees are similar to me, they are hesitant to talk in public about their residential school experiences.

    In fact, given the hostile climate that now exists, most former school employees—both non-aboriginal and aboriginal—will not acknowledge that they worked in residential schools, and very few will appear before the Commission. They already know that the “truth” has been pre-determined, as Michael Ignatieff says, and “reconciliation” is, in fact, financial compensation, which is now being distributed, but only to those students who were aboriginal and not to non-aboriginal students. Certainly, few people will praise residential schools, the administrators, the teachers, or the residential supervisors. Few people, including my wife, who received compensation, will publicly say that their residential school experiences were positive. If they did, morally, they would need to return their compensation cheques to the Canadian people.

    In this convoluted interpretation of our history, it is obviously that justice requires truth, but it also requires full-disclosure, which unfortunately, neither Canadians nor the Truth and Reconciliation Commissioners will likely hear.

    © Copyright 2008. Canadian Journal of Ideas Inc. All Rights Reserved

  20. alhambra said on December 24th, 2008 at 10:37am #

    Come on, guys. You were forced to go to school, not the gas chambers. And while in school, you were forced to speak the language of the realm. On your own time, you could speak anything you want, and practice any kind of culture you want. There was not then, nor is there now, laws against your practicing your own languages and cultures.

    [BTW: what is this mighty Native culture you people keep talking about? Is it Literature, Music, Architecture... or what?]

    Yes, like it or not, people going to school have to speak a common language, otherwise education becomes impossible. Canada is the most diverse country on the face of the planet. People from all over the globe come here. and yes, they are forced to speak either of the two official languages in public schools. Do they call that genocide? No, they call it opportunity.

    Here is how the slight of hand you people are pulling is worked:
    First you maintain that loss of language and culture (what culture?) is ‘cultural genocide’. Then you equate this alleged ‘cultural genocide’ with actual genocide, which is the deliberate and systematic extermination of a people, mostly defined by race. Ergo, you would have the world believe an actual genocide took place.

    Virtually all of the residential schools closed down between 35 and 40 years ago. Yet around 80% of the Natives who ever attended residential schools are ALIVE TODAY. You call that “genocide”?!

    Are you so ignorant of Canadian History that you don’t know that part of the reason Canada wanted to set up reserves is precisely to PRESERVE the Natives, and avoid the bloodshed of the American Indian Wars?

    Or, if you really think the Government of Canada had, or has, a policy of deliberately and systematic extermination of Natives, make your case, in plain English and without reference of oblique International Law that didn’t even apply back then. Make your case! What year? What government? What law or policy encouraged or enabled the deliberate and systematic extermination of Natives? Make your case, here and now and infront of the whole world. Or put your bullshit machine to rest, because it surely does need a rest.

    Speaking of genocide- are you listening Gary Metallic?- let’s talk a little about the Micmac. The Micmac came from the Great Lakes, moving east, displacing other tribes and people. The Micmac were constantly at war with their neighbours, were famous for torturing the male prisoners to death, and stealing women and children from other tribes. The Micmac even genocided other tribes, such as the Beothuk.

    So, whose genocide do you want to talk about? The imaginary one that you accuse the Government of Canada of, or the real ones perpetrated by your people?

  21. jgsman said on December 24th, 2008 at 2:35pm #

    clearly the last correspondent does not appreciate either the definition of genocide or its actual perpetration upon the Indigenous peoples by Canada. Such is a fact beyond dispute. Attempting to deflect the charge upon Indigenous peoples themselves is false and doesn’t alter the actual fact of the genocide occurring. Please read the materials so that you may actually learn something you didn’t know before so we won’t be treated to what has become simply another racist red-neck rant.
    http://briarpatchmagazine.com/2008/06/09/healing-begins-when-the-wounding-stops/

  22. Gary Metallic said on December 24th, 2008 at 10:18pm #

    Thank you jgsman on behalf of our people for your very accurate response to alhambra, after reading his new recent comments about the residential school system and that he was a former residential school teacher in the Anglican residential schools, I now know why he has been so defensive about the residential school systems. His feeble attempt to justify the illegal kidnapping of our children by the state and to forcefully assimilate them into Canadian society sounds like he is trying to justify his involvment in the cultural genocide of our peoples. We will present our case of the Genocide to the World in due time, certainly not to you or at the time that you ask, we cannot present our case before the guilty party which you are party to, we have been duped long enough by your unjust Govt and newcomer courts that have evaded the rule of law by minimizing and avoiding to prosecute Canada in the Genocide of our peoples, Merry xmas to all, and to all a good night, Gary Metallic, HereditaryChief , Migmaq Nation, P.S. I learned about Santa Claus in the Catholic indian residential school system, the most depressing time of the year for people who cant afford it, but as alhandra would say, us indians are lucky we learned stuff like this at the residential schools

  23. alhambra said on December 26th, 2008 at 8:58am #

    Okay, jgsman, I read the article and shall consider what it says.

    My writings were not designed to hurt, though perhaps some of them did.

    My main contention was, and still is: there are at least two sides to every story, and in your writings which consider only one side, you are being unfair to all involved.

    In the meantime, I am sure all posters to this thread are well-intentioned, from their own perspective, and I wish everyone involved a happy and prosperous New Year, and healing, if needed.

    ah

  24. Kim Petersen said on December 26th, 2008 at 1:35pm #

    alhambra,

    I appreciate you have good intentions, but good intentions can have malicious consequences.

    You write: “My main contention was, and still is: there are at least two sides to every story, and in your writings which consider only one side, you are being unfair to all involved.”

    I submit that your contention is fundamentally flawed. You are treating it as a universal that there are always two sides to a story (I think everyone realizes that) that there may be blame on both sides. But there is not always blame on all sides. What you are getting at is a seeking of balance: presenting the views of both sides. You argue that the criminals should be treated equally with the victims.

    E.g., Heaven forfend that this should ever happen, but for purposes of illuminating the flawed logic of your contention, suppose that a stranger breaks into your abode, murders your family members, rapes you and beats you within a whisker of death, steals all your money, and burns your house down. Are you still going to contend that the perpetrator’s story should be given consideration along with your story as victim?

  25. alhambra said on December 28th, 2008 at 6:53pm #

    To jgsman:
    I read the article, and the UN definition of genocide, and the legal discussions about genocide. ‘Intent’ is paramount to the UN’s deciding if a genocide took place. It means that the group claiming genocide had to be by intention explicitly targetted for destruction. Nor can the destruction be the unintended outcome, byproduct, or spillover from an attempt to achieve some other goal. I was amazed at some of the things which DO NOT qualify as genocide- the murders in Darfur, for example, nor ethnic cleansings, nor slavery. So, it is pretty doubtful that being forced to go to school, and to learn the language of country would qualify as genocide.

    Article 2(e) speaks of forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. I doubt if residential schools meet that criterea of genocide, either, considering the children were allowed to go home for holidays, and once the school year ended. But since Canada never ratified 2(e), discussion of 2(e) is a non-issue.

    But it was an interesting article, and I thank you for affording me the opportunity to increase my knowledge.

    To Gary Metallic:
    No, I was not a residential school teacher. That article I posted, dec. 23, was written by someone else, an article which I felt added to the discussion and information. The article was properly attributed to the author, but I should have made explicitly clear what I was doing. I apologize for any confusion I have caused.

    I also agree with your point- that you don’t supply proof simply because I ask for it. You don’t dance to my tune, and nor should you. Sometimes I ‘speak’ harshly out of exasperation (just ask my wife). And others have ‘spoken’ harshly to me. And that is okay, too: we are all human.

    But if the crime of genocide committed by the Canadian Government against Natives has yet to be established, why do you insist on using that word?

    To Kim Petersen:
    It has yet to be established that a crime, genocide, has taken place- established in the legal sense. You seem to be assuming that because some people use that word, that the crime has been established, the jury found guilt, and the accused has no right to speak. That I can see, the crime has yet to be established, and all accused have a right to speak in their defence.

    To all:
    I have found this thread to be interesting and thought-provoking. It is always interesting to discuss issues with people who dwell in the world of ideas. I feel I have learned something. I hope others have found my postings equally stimulating.

    If you wish for me to continue posting to this thread, I shall do so. On the other hand, if you wish me to stop, to vote me off the island, I shall stop. Your call, guys.

    Whichever way you people want it, I wish for all of us that some amicable solution can be found which will satisfy all camps equally.

    Happy New Year!

  26. John Shafer said on December 28th, 2008 at 7:18pm #

    …and to you
    and to all..

    js

  27. Max Shields said on December 28th, 2008 at 7:23pm #

    alhambra says, “I was amazed at some of the things which DO NOT qualify as genocide- the murders in Darfur, for example, nor ethnic cleansings, nor slavery. So, it is pretty doubtful that being forced to go to school, and to learn the language of country would qualify as genocide. ”

    This is a joke? No? Ok, you’re not joking. Genocide is a legal term with very specific legal requirements. So, no slavery is not genocide nor is what’s happening in Darfur (even though there are a whole of lot of Zionists who think that it’s better to have the US jump into Sudan than have the world watch as they pound the living daylights out of the Palestinians!!).

    Going to school is not genocide, its just torturefor the ineducable.

  28. terra firma said on December 29th, 2008 at 12:25pm #

    To: Kim Petersen said on December 22nd, 2008 at 3:15pm #
    “With all due respect, is your merely stating that something is ludicrous supposed to refute it?”

    And yes, is by merely repeating similarily agreed upon positions by you and your friends on this topic above everything else as well?

    It seems that you trust no one — not Indigenous leaders, not advocates, and not politicos. Well how about the Law Society of Upper Canada ?

    On 19 June 1996, the Law Society of Upper Canada v. Bruce Clark found:

    “The ‘genocide’ of which Mr. Clark speaks is real, and has very nearly succeeded in destroying the Native Canadian community that flourished here when European settlers arrived. No one who has seen many of our First Nation communities can remain untouched by this reality.”

    Who echoed these words? Names, please. What are their political affiliations? With other similarly minded people on the money hunt? Now we are entering in the real nasty dangerous world of politics and in this case appeasement for something which, as in most politics, is not properly defined and entirely discussed. One dominant, and in many cases dishonest, faction pronounces something and the rest of the citizenry have to be in lock step with that all consuming political viewpoint or face alienation and ostracization. This is how politics works Kim.

    If you are native you may claim to understand this alienation because of the your views on native “genocide” by the early and newly formed government of Canada. From what I and many other citizens, who remain silent, have seen over the years is the HUGE amounts of money spent to keep native people alive in their chosen environment, the reserve, the choice of your anscestors as well. And if you could speak with average ordinary Canadian people, people who work hard and are taxed for their work to help support you and others with your mutually shared political bent, they would tell you that they harbour no ill will toward aboriginal people. I don’t harbour any ill will or ill intent toward aboriginal people. I will, however, dislike dishonesty and confabulation for the sake of more money for someone else’s crudely defined but obvious greed with emotionally manipulative tactics. Politics, Kim.

    What about the “leaders” of your communities who favour their own family members with monetary benefits and inpoversh the other resident of the reserve system. Let’s start looking at the actions of chiefs who misuse money GIVEN to them by well meaning people in the government.

  29. bozh said on December 29th, 2008 at 1:17pm #

    terra firma,
    according to what i know, from 10-20 td yrs yrs ago redpeople have never heard of euros let alone seen any or needed their tender care.
    they survived. and if survival of a people is taken as proof of being successful; they did not need a remake,
    a remake to make them into euros.
    then, once euros arrived, at once or the moemt a euro saw them, they went limp/helpless, etc.
    for 10 td yrs they adapted to ther habitat for survival. but euros were never intending to recognize it as success but failure.
    and so, indigenes had to adapt to a new way of life/thinking/attitude overnight or marked for near extinction.
    actually, indigenes of americas r not red at all but euros wanted to paint them w. diferent color than the ones of most euros so that indigenes wld be further alienated/bellittled. thnx

  30. Gary Metallic said on December 29th, 2008 at 8:52pm #

    to alhambra, my hat off goes off to you for your boldness and honesty, we may have started off on an adverserial footing but through our comments, I could see your were human and indeed had a heart, and i vote to have you stay on the island, to terra firma, you are correct about the widespread corruption that exist within the Indian Act Chief and Councils, and INDIAN aFFAIRS ALLOWS IT ,because they are able to control their puppet regimes in the exploitation of our ancestoral lands and resources by signing harvesting agreements where monies are directly paid to the Chief and Council. As a Traditional Hereditary Chief of my community, our council is not recognized by Canada because they were eradicated by the legislation of the Indian Act of 1876, that act was created specifically to replace our traditional life chiefs with the so called democratic elected Chief and councils of the Indian ACT. In our Traditional Chieftainships, the Chief and his couincil worked for the betterment of the community, and were not allowed to place themselves above the people that they served, but because of Canadas illegal legislation (the indian act) wiping out our hereditary systems, this so called democracy introduced corruption through money into our lives. To, Bozh, what are you tripping on acid or what, or are you speaking in tongues, say what you want to say in an intelligent way, i dont understand your ranting and raving, i dont mind getting insulted but do it in a way that i can understand at least, HAPPY nEW yEAR, TO ALL OF US, AND I WILL BE VOTING MYSELF OFF THE ISLAND, THIS IS MY LAST BROADCAST, I ENJOYED OUR CHATS, BUT I HAVE THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO GO, Hereditary Chief, Migmaq Nation, Gary metallic

  31. terra firma said on January 3rd, 2009 at 11:47am #

    bozh said on December 29th, 2008 at 1:17pm #

    “according to what i know, from 10-20 td yrs yrs ago redpeople have never heard of euros let alone seen any or needed their tender care.
    they survived. ”

    bozh. I’m not exactly understanding your comment above. But, if as what you wrote about is true: “redpeople have never heard of euros let alone seen any” then how does this account for the numerous visits that Europeans, long before Lewis and Clark, made to North America and they never saw any “redpeople” either? Unless the wilderness of North America really was not inhabited by anybody and perhaps those that were living somewhere in the wilderness were like everybody else who visited; just happened to come upon this place. People of many cultures have been living and roaming on this planet for a long long time and many have passed through North America over the years. Nobody really truly knows or understands how humans came to be but the “redpeople” did not just grow from a seed that was planted in the ground. “Redpeople” came from somewhere else just like everyone else.

  32. terra firma said on January 3rd, 2009 at 12:22pm #

    bozh said on December 29th, 2008 at 1:17pm :
    “. and if survival of a people is taken as proof of being successful; they did not need a remake,”
    Well, you are still here now. And why can’t you survive with all of the billions and billions of hard earned tax dollars from the people that has been given to your people? What on earth have you people been doing with all of these resourses? It was given to you for your benefit for survival. But what the world outside of Canada does not see is how billions of dollars in tax collections is pissed down the drain by your people. Yet your people still beg on the streets for more money after it has been squandered on mostly useless selfish pursuits without a thought for tomorrow. But, all is not lost. Just think of another way to create some guilt complex for the extortion of more money for yourselves. The re4sidential school issue is a prime example to get more MONEY. Unfortunately, some of the aboriginal cultures who had a sense of honour and a work ethic are taking it on the chin and receiving some comments such as that were written in this letter to you. Some have used free resourses given to them for their survival.

    “bohz”. We want your “people” to thrive and survive. Let this sink in, would you. The Canadian government gives your people so much free service and you do not so much as have to do anything to receive anything. It appears to this writer that your own cultures contribute to your own genocide, cultural or otherwise.

    “then, once euros arrived, at once or the moemt a euro saw them, they went limp/helpless, etc.”

    bohz. Please. Your “people” did not go limp and helpless the moment a euro saw them. Your “people” still are unique in the world with your knowledge that you keep all to yourselves on the tracts of lands that your great-grandfathers decided to choose to raise their great grandchildren on.

    ” and so, indigenes had to adapt to a new way of life/thinking/attitude overnight or marked for near extinction”

    Your extinction at your own hands, bohz, and it was not overnight. Your “people” just refuse to adapt to a way of life for your own benefit. Blame someone else for your own shortcoming. We are here to help your people and have been doing so for quite a while. By the way, many regular people do not exactly enjoy the way things are in this world, too, and are just getting by themselves.

  33. bozh said on January 3rd, 2009 at 12:36pm #

    firm land,
    u make some good points. redpeople or ‘tainted’ or ‘discolored’ people in the eyes of whites may have come into redlands from asia some 10td yrs ago.
    there r reports that vikings have visited n.scotia a thousand yrs ago.
    but that clashes w. the fact that columbus did not know that there r americas as he voyaged to india.
    of course, it is possible that vikings did not shout from the rooftops the discovery of new vast lands.
    so, columbus cldn’t have known that.
    anyhow, columbus run into ‘india’; saw people there and called them “indians”.
    some historians estimate number of indigenes in present US as ab 10-12 mns.
    but after numerous ‘pacts’ w. and ‘promises’ to redpeople by euros, only, what, 200td remained.
    so, euros, no longer make pacts w. nor ‘promises’ to pals; they have learned their lesson well; except, for killings/maimings/dispersion/ herding.
    that is in full force as per usual. thnx

  34. terra firma said on January 3rd, 2009 at 12:52pm #

    bozh said on December 29th, 2008 at 1:17pm :

    “for 10 td yrs they adapted to ther habitat for survival. but euros were never intending to recognize it as success but failure.”

    bozh. Who has been telling you this? What have you been reading? The people in your great grandfather’s era very much respected your great grandfathers. Respected so much that instead of killing off any “Indian” found on the land tracts of land were given to them once the battle for ownership was determined. Reservations were set up for your great grandfathers’ survival when they had no where else to go once the fighting stopped. If you read history the whole of humanity has been consumed with wars, land expropriations and killing. It is a human condition that has consumed not only the “euros” that you write about but many other cultures outside of your chosen isolated culture. Others living outside of Canada whose only exposure to the “Indian” issue is from the “poor us” camp know very little about how Canadians and facets of the Canadian government, such as it corruptly is, have good will for your “people” and have demonstrated this for many many years with all of the easy access to a guaranteed existance. If you people still cannot make it look to your own people and how you are messing yourselves up. Your “chiefs” for example. We’ve heard of stories about how the chief and his/her family reap enormous benefits from the free unaccountable money given for all reservation residents but stay within the bank accounts and pockets of the chief’s family. How do you set out to blame “the white man” for this? Get your houses in order, please.

    Nothing is ever perfect and things are always a work in progress. Many working Canadians would like to see some evolution in the manner in which the government deals with the native issue. And the native issue is not the fault of the ordinary hard working Canadian citizen whose taxes support you and your corrupt representatives. Mostly people are just sick of the extortion for more money over issue upon issue for your people to selfishly stuff their faces with unhealthy lifestyle choices. Ordinary Canadians are sick of the corruption and political stink from their representatives, too. There is a big world outside of your puny territory and beyond the rest of insignificant Canada. That big world wants the resourses that are found here and heaven knows what is in store for all of us.

    Many see much wrong with the way things are and want to change things but cannot. First we have to discuss the truth from all sides. We may have more in common than you are currently led to believe. Let us meet with honesty and then let’s get down to business making this a better world.

  35. bozh said on January 3rd, 2009 at 1:00pm #

    terra,
    i am not an indigene. u’r right, there still a number of indigenous people in canada and US.
    ab us giving first nations bns, i am not much knowledgeable ab that to make a comment.
    some people do say that first people get paid when their land is being used; they also fish and work.
    how much addional monies they get from govt, i don’t know.

    ab the word adapting to euro’s ways “overnight”, the word may be a stretch. i’d like to hear from others as well whether it was inadequate.
    but there is no question that euros wanted them to accept their way of life; possibly quickly or right away.

    it is common practice to use rationalization in order to blame the victim:
    they r lazy, uneducated, dirty, unmotivated, etc.
    a criminal might say, oh well, they have too much; it wasn’t guarded, so i ‘took’ it; i’m helping the poor, etcetc.
    a wife beater might say, she’s got big mouth; she’s always nagging me; she’s never thankful, etcetc.
    a rapist might say, she asked for it, etcetc.
    thnx

  36. terra firma said on January 3rd, 2009 at 1:22pm #

    bozh said on January 3rd, 2009 at 12:36pm #

    bozh. Thanks for your contribution.

    I want you and many others to realize that the actions of the working pawn of the colonizing monarchy of the U.K. in our great-grandfathers’ age were individually fulfilling the wishes of their masters. They took an opportunity to earn a living but it was the masters who decided to do things that effect our way of life today. The ordinary Canadian of today have hearts like the ordinary aboriginal. We both are caught up in something bigger than ourselves but we all have a commonality and a love for each other that manifests itself in numerous ways. I’ll say it again – the average Canadian working shlep wants you to be healthy and to prosper. WE WANT this for you. Please do not ever forget this.

    But every person ever alive in the past and will be in the future hates being lied to and extorted from. All of humanity thrives in good will. All of humanity loves honour and honesty. Yours is not the only culture in all of ageless humanity to be dealt a slight of hand. Compared with cultures of the past, how your “people” were treated is in stark contrast to the sickenly brutal regimes of yesteryear. Your “people”, in comparison, came out relatively well, actually. Currently this writer believes that Canadian society is being dealt a slight of hand from your “peoples” and again the residential school issue looks like another fiasco and cash grab from the ordinaty working people of Canada. With this issue, though, both sides are milking the gravy train. I do not trust the side that your “peoples” maintain and the side that is allegedly my side of things, the government. It’s about politics, for some other end, and it stinks. Truth, please.

  37. terra firma said on January 3rd, 2009 at 1:53pm #

    bozh said on January 3rd, 2009 at 1:00pm # :
    “but there is no question that euros wanted them to accept their way of life; possibly quickly or right away. ”

    bozh. Perhaps so, but is is part of an economic order that is even more intense today. You “peoples” are fortunate that you have both a rural and an urban lifestyle that is guaranteed by government support while the rest of us are caught up in being a slave to an economic order bent on destroying the planet. And no, it is not a “white man” thing it is a GREED thing and greed can effect any human being and the actions of your own people are living proof to this.
    Don’t forget, bozh, your grandfathers were guaranteed a place to live and to receive economic support from the beginning of the first rudimentary treaty. How the wording of that treaty has evolved into contemporary adaptability is truly astounding. “Indians” were given one thing back then but the Supreme Court has abstractly expanded the wording of those treaties to include what it might mean today for YOUR survival. Whether every “Indian” gets their fair share is the problem of the individual aboriginal and their clan governments, such as it is, if it can be called such.

    Blame the victim? Who is the victim here? The suckers that keep forking money over to a squeaky wheel or a culture that just refuses to help itself adapt to world conditions beyond everyone’s control? Your people want to live isolated from the rest of Canadians and the world outside and your way of life has been guaranteed from the treaties of yesteryear and you are the victim? The Iroquois used to disembowel and burn at the stake their war captures. The ‘white man”, as imperfect as you, gives you almost everything you need or want, as long as the chief doesn’t skim off the top first, and you are a victim?

    Truth and Reconcilliation. Ya, let’s have lots of it. The truth as the first casualty. Reconcilliation? Ya, once all people get to see how much they have been conned.

  38. terra firma said on January 3rd, 2009 at 2:17pm #

    Gary Metallic said on December 29th, 2008 at 8:52pm :
    “to terra firma, you are correct about the widespread corruption that exist within the Indian Act Chief and Councils, and INDIAN aFFAIRS ALLOWS IT ,because they are able to control their puppet regimes in the exploitation of our ancestoral lands and resources by signing harvesting agreements where monies are directly paid to the Chief and Council.”

    Gary. These insights are very much appreciated and I thank you for your input. To extend your good will even further, I am hoping that other people would write in with their insightfull comments so things can be properly sorted out once and for all. This really, is not a beef between the ordinary Canadian the ordinary aboriginal. It is government to ? governement? bickering. This average Canadian wants to wish all average aboriginals well.

    Somewhere down the road perhaps all of us can learn from each other to be supportive of one another in truly healthful and helpfull ways. This blog may not be going to places where we would all like it to go but at least we can communicate and know and share where we stand and what our understood truths are. We, as individuals, are not each other’s enemies. We happen to be caught up in the most sordid of human affairs for purposes of which we may not currently be aware.

    Yours is a move toward an honesty that this writer respects and honours. I appreciate your contribution.

  39. bozh said on January 3rd, 2009 at 2:57pm #

    terra,
    let’s talk ab the “culture that refuses to adapt….” first, it is an acccusation/condemnation and once one is on a muck throwing trip there is no end insight for that
    and no condemnation is factual regardless how deep one’s belief in it is.
    what’s w. “refusal”? what ab ‘”to adapt” , etc. have any of the first nations explicitly stated, ‘We refuse to adapt to ur way of life”?
    or have they said (some, few, thousands): u have ur ways and we have our ways.
    adapt to? a hunter/gatherer/fishing folk becoming farmers, engineers, bridge builders, etc.?
    where is that law to be found? . in euro’s head only, and euros r a priori right?
    i am an euro. but seldom ever pick on euros only; asians alos in this.
    to enserf/enslave/subjugate is panhuman trait. corruption is yet another universal, so ‘indians’ r also corrupt.
    victim? euros r victim? well, if that were true, it wld be the first time ever that a weaklings such as first nations w.o. tanks, jets, army, secret police, sefl rule, etc., wld victimize vastly stronger econo-military might.
    where did i see this argument before? aah, in palestine. pals being vile, mean, refusing peace; harming peaceful euros, who only desire peace/harmony! thnx
    ok let’s talk. let us be adequate and acccurate and not throw so much muck at others regardless how u feel.i think u r guided too much feelings.

  40. Gary Metallic,Mig`maq Hereditary Chief said on March 6th, 2009 at 8:14pm #

    to bozh, i want to apologize for mistaking your comments about our people to be offensive, when in fact you were supporting our plight for recognition and justice, from the bottom of my heart i am truly sorry for my comments about you and only realized when i revisited the dissident voice site. I hope you you can find it in your heart to forgive me, and thank you for your support, Gary Metallic, Hereditary Chief, migmaq Nation