There are parts of Canada’s history that, to say the least don’t make our hearts swell with pride. We have learned as much as in socials in the last few weeks. In our last few lessons in socials I have been taken aback but still very interested in the way that the aboriginals were treated in Canada and I am interested in exploring just how bad the Aboriginals were treated. I think the main area of study for me is going to be the question of, did Canada commit genocide with their treatment of the aboriginals?
The first thing I did was, I went to find the technical definition of “genocide” according to the United Nations, and it is as follows:
“General Assembly Resolution 260A (III) Article 2 In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
There is without a doubt, evidence that would lead to believe that by this definition Canada committed genocide against their own people. I found a very interesting article that gave specific examples of exactly how and when these acts of genocide were committee.
“It’s clear that Canada’s first prime minister Sir John A. MacDonald’s policy of starving First Nations to death in order to make way for the western expansion of European settlers meets the criteria of genocide under the CPPCG.
Similarly, the entire residential school system also passes the genocide test, in particular if you consider the fact that the Department of Indian Affairs, headed by Duncan Campbell Scott, deliberately ignored the recommendations of Peter Bryce, Canada’s first Chief Medical Officer, regarding the spread of tuberculosis in the schools. Such willful disregard for the basic principles of public health constitutes an act of genocide by omission, if not deliberate commission.
Finally, we have the very recent and painful memory of forced removal of First Nations children from their families by Indian Agents which occurred in the 1960s, also known by the popular term “Sixties Scoop.” This is an act of genocide that clearly meets the CPPCG test, and also fell outside of the residential school system.” Exert from the article: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/what-canada-committed-against-first-nations-was-genocide-the-un-should-recognize-it/article14853747/.
Some of the things that I would be looking to learn more about would be looking into previous examples of genocide and how this specific example relates to that. The scary thing that I have found is that Canada attended a conference with the UN about genocide and then continued to do exactly what they were doing previously.
Another interesting thing that I have been looking into is what are doing to fix the problem that we created, what have we done in the past? What will we continue to do in the future? How SHOULD we be compensating for the harm we have done. I mean it is questionably genocide, lots of Canadians are saying that we are on unseeded land and something needs to be done about it! The question is what?