6/28/2020 4 Comments
A Canada Day Manifesto on Genocide
Canada, the nation state, and Canada’s national policy continues to exist on the genocide of Indigenous Nations. Two public inquiries, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2015) and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (2019) have concluded that Canada’s foundation is based on the physical, biological, and cultural genocide of Indigenous Nations and people. What is more, it was argued that this Canadian made genocide continues today through cultural means that include laws, policies, practices, and standard operating procedures, as well as through acts of neglect and omission. This is the case regardless of Canada’s so-called good intentions. A narrow focus on intent is not the definitive element in the case of the genocide of Indigenous Nations and people, and of Canada’s crimes against humanity in this regard. As long as this policy of genocide continues Canada, the prime minister, the privy council, the cabinet, and the members of parliament are human rights violators. There is no need to debate this.
Cultural genocide against Indigenous Nations and people is carried out through Canada’s laws, policies, and practices—both written and unwritten—of neglect and elimination such as the extinguishment of Indigenous rights through the land claims and self-government process and policies that Canada, through forked-tongue rhetoric, erroneously calls the “Modern Treaty Process”. Since its inception in the 1970s, and largely due to Indigenous opposition to the genocidal terms of the land claims process, over time Canada has manipulated its rhetoric in its policy from the use of such euphemisms as “extinguishing all our rights” to “extinguishing only our land and land related rights” to “relinquishing our rights” to “defining our rights completely”. Regardless of the shift in rhetoric and the misleading name the outcome remains the same–Indigenous Nations continue to be denied the land and resources needed to rebuild our governance systems and institutions such as schools, housing, courts, and health care that are rooted in our knowledge systems and thus culturally meaningful, relevant, and subsequently efficacious in a way that the good life is attainable. Canada’s failure to address the genocide encoded in their land claims and self-government policies has been, and continues to be, manipulatively disguised and this is intentional. It is now clearly understood that Canada’s policy and law makers first and only priority is to obfuscate the genocide rather than address the genocide–meaning crafting a better tool—law, policy, practice, or gap in law, policy, or practice—that disguises the genocide. As a result the oppressor’s culture continues to be imposed on Indigenous Nations. This cultural imposition is genocide. Raphael Lemkin was clear about this.
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© Lynn Gehl, Ph.D. is an Algonquin Anishinaabe-kwe from the Ottawa River Valley. She is a published author of Claiming Anishinaabe: Decolonizing the Human Spirit and The Truth that Wampum Tells: My Debwewin on the Algonquin Land Claims Process. You can reach her and see more of her work at www.lynngehl.com.
6/28/2020 07:53:27 am
Interested in learning more about your research
7/1/2020 07:33:45 pm
Still think you need to call it what it is Genocide as per the UN definition and Not cultural genocide which is only one part of it.
7/5/2020 10:11:08 am
I have seen today July 6, 2021 that Metis in Manitoba have created self government in cooperation with the Canadian government. And I think that this is a good trend. Like Quebec in Canada so the First Nations need to be recognized and acknowledged and allowed to self governments. If current PM claims Canada to be a multicultural country then First Nations need to recognized as part of Canadian multicultural culture.
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