Help Heal Cultural Genocide in Canada

#1 ... -1.2402093
"These measures were part of a coherent policy to eliminate aboriginal people as distinct peoples and to assimilate them into the Canadian mainstream against their will," the report says.
"The Canadian government pursued this policy of cultural genocide because it wished to divest itself of its legal and financial obligations to aboriginal people and gain control over their land and resources."
After six years of research and interviews with residential school survivors and their families, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its damning summary report Tuesday morning.
"The residential school experience is one of the darkest, most troubling chapters in our collective history," TRC chair and Canada's first aboriginal Justice Murray Sinclair,told a news conference in Ottawa.
The report calls on federal, provincial and territorial governments to implement 94 sweeping recommendations aimed at reconciliation.
The commission interviewed more than 6,700 former students, many of whom spoke on video. An estimated 150,000 aboriginal children spent time in residential schools over 150 years. Approximately 80,000 are still alive.
The children who died due to abuse, neglect and lack of medical care were often buried in the schools' cemeteries instead of their home communities, said TRC Commissioner Marie Wilson.
Medical care in residential schools was "of the lowest quality" and disease ran rampant, the TRC report found.
Some students who were abused ended their own lives. Others "died alone in the wilderness" while trying to escape, Wilson said Tuesday. The commission has been able to document 3,200 student deaths so far, but Sinclair said it is “safe” to estimate that at least 6,000 children died while in the care of residential schools.
The survivors' stories will become part of a permanent historical archive. The full TRC report, which is thousands of pages long, will be released later this year.
'Words are not enough'
In his speech, Sinclair called upon the current and future prime ministers of Canada to issue an annual "State of Aboriginal Peoples" report, which would track the government's reconciliation efforts.
He said that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's 2008 apology for the residential school system has yet to result in concrete actions from the government.
"Words are not enough," Sinclair said, adding that the TRC report is Ottawa's "second chance at establishing a relationship of equals."
Sinclair later told reporters that he believes Harper’s apology was sincere, but that government bureaucrats didn’t understand or know how to act on it.
The Prime Minister’s Office said Tuesday that Harper will attend the TRC’s closing events in Ottawa on Wednesday “to underscore our commitment to reconciliation and to resolving the legacy of the residential school system in Canada.”
Key recommendations
The TRC report divides its 94 recommendations into several categories, including child welfare, health and education.
It calls on child welfare organizations to keep aboriginal families together whenever possible and to track the number of aboriginal children who end up in provincial care. It also demands that such placements be "culturally appropriate."
When it comes to education, the report calls on the federal government to work with aboriginal groups to develop a strategy to eliminate "educational and employment gaps between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians."
The report calls for improved funding for education and urges Ottawa to enact an Aboriginal Languages Act that would preserve the various languages of First Nations people and allow for university and college diplomas in aboriginal languages.
The TRC also asks the federal government to repeal the controversial Section 43 of the Criminal Code, which states that "every schoolteacher, parent or person standing in the place of a parent is justified in using force by way of correction toward a pupil or child, as the case may be, who is under his care, if the force does not exceed what is reasonable under the circumstances."
Sinclair also called on the government to establish a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women, which the Conservative government has already declined.
The TRC report's recommendations even extend beyond Canada's borders, and call upon Pope Francis to issue an apology to residential school survivors and their families "for the Roman Catholic Church's role in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical and sexual abuse" of indigenous children in Catholic-run schools.
Highlights of the other recommendations include:
  • That federal, provincial and territorial governments adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Allowing people who had their names changed in residential schools to reclaim their original identities without having to pay administrative costs for a period of five years
  • Identifying and closing the gaps in health outcomes between aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities
  • Funding for new and existing aboriginal healing centres
  • Educating Canadian government officials, public servants and the general population about the history of aboriginal people and the legacy of residential schools
  • A federal funding commitment of $10 million over seven years to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
  • Changing the Oath of Citizenship for new Canadians to include a promise to observe treaties with indigenous people

Re: Help Heal Cultural Genocide in Canada

I guess you and I could call it cultural genocide because of that old indian act. Still I call it genocide as it has been since contact both on turtle island and abya yala. ... ndian-act-

The Indian Act:
1.denied women status;
2.introduced residential schools;
3.created reserves;
4.renamed individuals with European names
5.forbade First Nations from leaving reserve without permission from Indian Agent - see picture above
6.enforced enfranchisement of any First Nation admitted to university [1];
7.could expropriate portions of reserves for roads, railways and other public works, as well as to move an entire reserve away from a municipality if it was deemed expedient;
8.could lease out uncultivated reserve lands to non-First Nations if the new leaseholder would use it for farming or pasture;
9.forbade First Nations from forming political organizations;
10.prohibited anyone, First Nation or non-First Nation, from soliciting funds for First Nation legal claims without special license from the Superintendent General. (this 1927 amendment granted the government control over the ability of First Nations to pursue land claims);[2]
11.prohibited the sale of alcohol to First Nations;
12.prohibited sale of ammunition to First Nations;
13.prohibited pool hall owners from allowing First Nations entrance;
14.imposed the “band council” system;
15.forbade First Nations from speaking their native language;
16.forbade First Nations from practicing their traditional religion;
17.forbade western First Nations from appearing in any public dance, show, exhibition, stampede or pageant wearing traditional regalia; [3]
18.declared potlatch and other cultural ceremonies illegal; [4]
19.denied First Nations the right to vote;
20.created permit system to control First Nations ability to sell products from farms; a piece of legislation created under the British rule for the purpose of subjugating one race - Aboriginal people.

The 94 TRC Calls To Action

I wish there was an indigenous forum here.
Kchi Migwech Gzheminido Kinagego

Re: Help Heal Cultural Genocide in Canada

for sure...its those papal bulls pervading politics and religion...and it affects us all. Interesting how lots is disappearing offline too so the info is not shared.

Theres a campaign on right now in solidarity and support for California natives ... comments=1

On February 24, the Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band of Ohlone Indians, Valentin Lopez, wrote an open letter to Pope Francis, making him aware that the Amah Mutsun will rescind their request for a mass of reconciliation if Juniper Serra is named a Saint.


February 24, 2015

Re: Open Letter to Pope Francis,

Your Holiness, Pope Francis, My name is Valentin Lopez and I am the Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band. Our historic and continuous Tribe is comprised of the documented descendants of the indigenous peoples taken to Missions San Juan Bautista and Santa Cruz in the state of California, United States of America. Our Amah Mutsun Tribe is not a federally recognized Tribe. The Federal Government of the Unites States does not acknowledge our Tribe nor does it provide assistance to our members. We are writing this letter to voice our disbelief and objection to your intent to canonize Franciscan Friar Junipero Serra.

When you were first selected Pope our Amah Mutsun Tribal Council discussed your selection on a number of occasions and we were very optimistic. We were hopeful that you would understand the plight of the indigenous descendant and how they have been ignored and marginalized by society. We applauded your words of peace, justice, truth, and dignity. We were also optimistic that you would understand how our people need to recover from generations of oppression and pain. Your decision to canonize Fr. Serra is a clear message that our re ality of pove rty, suicide, depression, substance abuse, and many other ills will continue to impact the lives of our members for many more years and perhaps many more generations.

Because we believed your papacy would be different we wrote you two letters dated August 29, 2013 and April 25, 2014. In these letters we introduced our Tribe and described our pre-contact history. We also described our ancestor’s experiences at the mission. I told you of how many of our female ancestors were tied together by their thumbs and forced to march to the missions. Once there they were considered the property of the mission. It’s estimated that life expectancy was less than two years at some missions. I also discussed how our current Tribal members continue to suffer from the impact of cumulative emotional and psychological wounding, which is otherwise known as historic trauma. This trauma resulted from the generations of physical and emotional brutality as well as the attempted cultural and spiritual genocide of all California native people. Our ancestors endured this brutality not only during mission times but this legacy continued during the Mexican and American periods. Historic trauma also results from the fact that from mission times to the present our legitimate past and our humanity as indigenous people have never been truly acknowledged by any governmental or religious organization.

The two letters we sent were accompanied by letters from Dr. Donna Schindler, psychiatrist, and Bishop Francis Quinn, Bishop Emeritus of Sacramento California. Dr. Schindler’s letters discussed historic trauma and explained how our members continue to suffer today because of our tragic history starting with the brutalities our ancestors suffered at the missions. Bishop Quinn’s letter, dated May 7, 2014, stated that although the “language of these letters is sometimes very intense, I support the basic message.” In both letters we requested that you offer a mass of reconciliation to the Indigenous people of California, as that would be an important step in our efforts to find healing from our historic trauma.

When you announced recently that you would canonize Fr. Junipero Serra we were in absolute disbelief. It is incomprehensible for us to think that you would canonize a person who is ultimately responsible for the death of approximately 100,000 California Indians and the complete extermination of many Native tribes, cultures and languages. The brutality of Fr. Serra is well documented in his own writings. On July 31, 1775 Fr. Serra wrote a letter to Spanish Governor Fernando de Rivera y Moncado requesting that he punish four Indians for attempting to run away from San Carlos de Borromeo de Carmelo mission. Fr. Serra wrote, “I am sending them to you so that a period of exile, and two or three whippings which Your Lordship may order applied to them on different days may serve, for them and for all the rest, for a warning, may be of spiritual benefit to all; and this last is the prime motive for our work. If Your Lordship does not have shackles, with your permission they may be sent from here. I think that the punishment should last one month.” On July 7, 1780 Fr. Serra wrote a letter to Governor Felipe de Neve to explain his policy of whipping Indians, “That the spiritual fathers [priests] should punish their sons, the Indians, by blows appears to be as old as the conquest of these kingdoms.” This violence, intimidation and terror which was sponsored and ordered by Fr. Serra clearly set the policy and foundation for all future brutal acts at the missions. Obviously, Fr. Serra’s standard for violence against the Indians was the same standard as that used in the conquest of all of the Americas.

There were many horrendous and documented events during the mission period in California. For example, in 1809 a Commander of the Spanish military ordered Spanish soldiers to massacre 200 women and children who refused to continue to march to Mission San Juan Bautista. These women and children were cut into pieces with sabers while the commander ordered that their remains be scattered on the ground; this event is documented. After this atrocity “the priests swore all of the soldiers to secrecy.” While some will argue that Junipero Serra himself was not directly responsible for this massacre, there is no dispute that he is responsible for creating the system that allowed these types of inhumane and depraved events to occur. Furthermore, to remove him from the consequences of the missions would be the same as removing the leaders of terrorist groups, or military aggressors who acted in the name of religion of any era, including the terrorist groups of today, from the actions of their followers.

Following your announcement that you were going to canonize Serra, I reflected on what I believed to be the definition of a “Saint.” I have always thought that the Catholic Church considered someone a saint only when that person followed Jesus Christ and lived his/her life according to Christ’s teaching. Frankly, I see no similarities between Serra and Jesus Christ. The latter never used military enforcers or corporal punishment to get people to follow his teaching, nor did he use beatings and whippings. Jesus Christ never considered people to be property or turn them into slaves. Jesus Christ never considered anyone to be a heathen, a pagan, or a savage. At no time did Jesus Christ ever say that a man had no soul, nor did Jesus Christ ever teach that the end results justified the means.

We often hear that the times were much different when Fr. Serra first came to California and that we cannot use today’s standards to judge his actions. The Amah Mutsun completely agrees. The Catholic Church should not use today’s standards to judge Fr. Serra. Instead, the Catholic Church should judge Fr. Serra against the times and the words that Jesus Christ spoke when he was on earth; over 1,750 years before the time of Serra. Serra should have known that to follow Jesus Christ’s footsteps meant that he needed to have understanding and love for others and that no one could or should ever be forced to accept Jesus Christ. We read that Jesus came in peace and he was often attacked. Fr. Serra came in the name of Jesus, but yet he brought soldiers and was prepared to attack. How Fr. Serra is worthy of public veneration based upon actions most people would consider to be evil is unfathomable.

Many of Serra’s actions were acceptable to the Catholic Church based on the Diversas Bull of 1452 and other related bulls. These bulls, which promoted the conquest, colonization, and exploitation of non- Christian nations, specifically granted the Pope’s blessing “to capture, vanquish, and subdue the Saracens, pagans, and other enemies of Christ and put them into perpetual slavery and take all their possessions and their property.” In 1493 Pope Alexander VI issued a law granting Spain’s dominion over all lands that Columbus had located.

On October 23, 2013 the Religious Sisters of Charity wrote to you and asked you to publicly repudiate and rescind the Diversas Bull of 1452, the Caetera Bull of 1493, and other related bulls. To date, the Catholic Church has refused to do this. How could the Catholic Church remove the words and life of Jesus Christ to define sainthood and replace the definition of sainthood with papal bulls that sanctioned Christian enslavement, power and Spain’s dominion over all lands that Columbus had located? The Amah Mutsun have no doubt that Serra’s canonization is based on these papal bulls and not the words and actions of Jesus Christ. We join the Sisters of Charity in asking you, Holy Father, to repudiate and rescind the Bulls referenced above.

We must add that until these bulls are rescinded we can only conclude that the Catholic Church considers many of our ancestors, current members and future descendents to be the enemies of Christ. We do not believe Jesus Christ believes us to be his enemy; we’d like the church to explain this paradox.

On August 29, 2013, tribal leaders from four mission tribes, Rudy Ortega, Tribal Administrator and Tribal Spiritual Leader, Tataviam Tribe, Mel Vernon, Captain, Mission San Luis Rey Tribe, Ray Hernandez, Chumash, and our Amah Mutsun Tribe, and Dr. Schindler met with Bishop Gerald Wilkerson of San Fernando Pastoral Region and Bishop Edward Clark, Regional Bishop, Archdiocese of Los Angeles. At these meetings we told them of the need for the church to tell the truth regarding Fr. Serra and the Mission period. We also made them aware of the impact of historic trauma on our members. Following this meeting we sent the Bishops a letter, dated May 30, 2013, documenting the 12 points we discussed at our meeting. We offered specific recommendations on how the church could help our tribal members heal from our historic trauma. We also offered to help the church establish positive relationships with the descendants of the Indians taken to the mission. We ended the letter by saying we look forward to working with the Bishops. No response to this letter was ever received.

On December 20, 2013, we met with Mr. Ned Dolejsi, Executive Director, California Catholic Conference. At our meeting we shared with him our letter to Bishops Wilkerson and Clark. We also requested that Dr. Schindler and I be allowed to speak at the next quarterly all Bishops Conference to inform the attendees that there are surviving tribes from the mission period and that the truth needs to be told regarding the history of the California missions. Shortly after our meeting Mr. Dolejsi notified Dr. Schindler that our request was denied. This denial reinforced what we’ve believed for generations, the Catholic Church does not acknowledge our Tribes or our humanity.

On December 11, 2012, Bishop Garcia of the Monterey Diocese held a mass of reconciliation for the indigenous peoples and their descendents taken to Mission San Juan Bautista. At this mass Bishop Garcia apologized for events of the past that were hurtful and expressed “a desire for a new relationship that promotes common spiritual growth, honesty, mutual respect and a desire to forgive and be forgiven for past wrongs.” Prior to this mass our Tribal Council decided that we should “acknowledge” this apology versus to “accept” the apology. We felt that for the apology to be sincere it had to be followed up by specific actions that demonstrated the church’s sincerity. When you announced that you were going to canonize Serra we realized that although Bishop Garcia apologized, the church does not understand our history, nor does it understand the great pain and suffering it has caused.

On September 14, 1987, Pope John Paul stated in a speech that was directed to indigenous peoples that “The early encounter between your traditional cultures and the European way of life was an event of such significance and change that it profoundly influences your collective life even today. That encounter was a harsh and painful reality for your peoples.” He then added “At the same time, in order to be objective, history must record the deeply positive aspects of your people’s encounter with the culture that came from Europe. Among these positive aspects, I wish to recall the work of the many missionaries who strenuously defended the rights of the original inhabitants of this land. They established missions throughout this southwestern part of the United States.”

As the Chairman of the Amah Mutsun I can honestly say we fail to recognize any “positive aspects” of our cultural oppression, physical decimation and destruction of our traditional societies. We do not believe that the missions worked to improve our living conditions. Instead we were enslaved, beaten, raped, and in many cases had life expectancies of less than two years? Do the positive aspects of the mission system include its long term legacy: tribal poverty, suicide, physical abuse, substance abuse, identity issues, not to mention the church’s denial of our humanity, our culture and our spirituality? Do the positive aspects of the mission system include the church continuing to hold land that was traditionally the land of our ancestors while most current day descendants of those taken to the missions have no tribal land?

In the year 2000, Pope John Paul II issued a diverse apology on behalf of the Catholic Church. In his apology Pope John Paul said, “Whenever the truth has been suppressed by governments and their agencies or even by Christian communities, the wrongs done to the indigenous peoples need to be honestly acknowledged…The Church expresses deep regret and asks forgiveness where her children have been or still are party to these wrongs…The past cannot be undone, but honest recognition of past injustices can lead to measures and attitudes that will help to rectify the damaging effects for both the indigenous community and the wider society.”

The Amah Mutsun assert that the truth of Fr. Serra’s destruction of our Tribal culture, spirituality, and lives continues to be intentionally suppressed and never honestly acknowledged by the Catholic Church. Interestingly, Pope John Paul also said, “An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie [that is] guarded.” The Amah Mutsun believe that for Fr. Junipero Serra to be canonized, the Catholic Church must create an excuse for his brutal actions and for the devastating mission system that he created.

Speaking on behalf of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, we would like you to know that should you go forward with your announced intentions to canonize Serra, please know that we rescind the request we made in our letters to you for a mass of reconciliation. The canonization of Serra will be a clear message to our Tribe that the church does not care about our true history or our historic trauma. Furthermore, please know that if Fr. Serra is canonized, the Amah Mutsun reject the diverse apology offered by Pope John Paul to all indigenous people as our Tribe can only conclude that his apology, which was an apology ostensibly on behalf of the catholic church, was meaningless and insincere.

A book titled A Cross of Thorns, The Enslavement of California’s Indians by the Spanish Missions, by author Elias Castillo, will be released soon. The book is the result of more than six years of research and study of original documents including eyewitness accounts by early travelers, records kept by the friars, and historic letters by church and government authorities in Alta California and Mexico. A Cross of Thorns describes the brutality of Serra and the dark and violent reality of mission life. Castillo wrote, “Even a fellow Franciscan, Fr. Antonio de la Conception Herra, wrote in 1799 that The treatment of the Indians is the most cruel I have ever read in history. For the slightest things they receive heavy floggings, are shackled, and put in the stocks, and treated with so much cruelty that they are kept whole days without a drink of water.” In 1820, the last Spanish Padre Presidente of the missions, Father Mariano Payeras, worriedly wrote his superior in Mexico City that they, “had to come up with an alibi when people started asking where all the Indians had gone. Unless they had an excuse, the Franciscans would be subjected to scorn and scandal. Wrote Payeras: All we have done to the Indians is consecrate them, baptize them and bury them.” It is also our belief that in addition to canonizing Serra based on Bulls, you are also basing his canonization on the alibi created by the Franciscans and not the reality of his actions. The publisher of this book, Linden Publishing Inc., provided the enclosed copy of A Cross of Thorns; we hope that by reading this book you will have a new understanding of Fr. Serra and the California Missions.

It’s important for you to know that our Amah Mutsun Creation story tells us that Creator very specifically selected our people to live on the lands of our traditional tribal territory that we know as Popouloutchum. Creator unambiguously gave our Tribe the responsibility of taking care of Mother Earth and all living things. This is true for all Native American tribes. Our people worked hard to please Creator and to fulfill our obligations. At first contact with Europeans our Tribe, as all other tribes of California, were already civilized; we actively managed the landscape, we were subject to authority, and we had laws. We had a well-developed and sophisticated culture and we were very spiritual. All of our songs were prayer songs and all of our dances were prayer dances. Our people continually prayed so that they lived their life with their heart, mind, body and soul. They prayed for balance in their life, their family and their world. They prayed for their relationship with Mother Earth, with other human beings and with Creator.

Father Boscana, a Franciscan Scholar, and mission priest, who wrote of the Indians near San Juan Capistrano stated that “the Indians of California may be compared to a species of monkeys.” He was incorrect. Our ancestors were not monkeys, they were not pagan, they were not heathens, and they were not savages. Our members believe that Creator will harshly judge those responsible for the events at the missions that led to the death of so many of our ancestors and the destruction of our culture.This particularly includes Fr. Serra, who you now intend to canonize.The Amah Mutsun again ask, Holy Father, that if you choose to go forward with the naming of Junipero Serra as a Saint, that before doing so you rescind Pope John Paul’s apology to Native Americans. At the very least, please rescind his apology to the Amah Mutsun. In addition, should you go forward with your plans to canonize Junipero Serra we rescind our request that you offer a mass of reconciliation to the descendants of those taken to the California missions. The Amah Mutsun would consider that apology as being the same as knocking someone down and then apologizing by saying, “I’m sorry I knocked you down, now let me kick you.” To this we must say, “No thank you.”

In this letter, we have talked about the need for healing. We are well aware, however, that it is important not only for our Tribe to heal, it is important for all perpetrators to heal. This includes the Catholic Church, and other governments and individuals who have caused harm and loss to the California Indians. There can be no doubt that our efforts to begin to work on this healing were clearly rejected by the Catholic Church.

The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band sends this letter with our hope and prayers that you will reevaluate your decision to canonize Junipero Serra and that you reevaluate the Church’s relationship with the descendants of all California Indians taken to the missions.

kansireesum – With our heart,

Valentin Lopez, Chairman
Amah Mutsun Tribal Band
Kchi Migwech Gzheminido Kinagego

Re: Help Heal Cultural Genocide in Canada

This is the Final Report of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its six-year investigation of the residential school system for Aboriginal youth and the legacy of these schools. This report, the summary volume, includes the history of residential schools, the legacy of that school system, and the full text of the Commission's 94 recommendations for action to address that legacy.
This report lays bare a part of Canada's history that until recently was little-known to most non-Aboriginal Canadians. The Commission discusses the logic of the colonization of Canada's territories, and why and how policy and practice developed to end the existence of distinct societies of Aboriginal peoples.
Using brief excerpts from the powerful testimony heard from Survivors, this report documents the residential school system which forced children into institutions where they were forbidden to speak their language, required to discard their clothing in favour of institutional wear, given inadequate food, housed in inferior and fire-prone buildings, required to work when they should have been studying, and subjected to emotional, psychological and often physical abuse. In this setting, cruel punishments were all too common, as was sexual abuse.
More than 30,000 Survivors have been compensated financially by the Government of Canada for their experiences in residential schools, but the legacy of this experience is ongoing today. This report explains the links to high rates of Aboriginal children being taken from their families, abuse of drugs and alcohol, and high rates of suicide. The report documents the drastic decline in the presence of Aboriginal languages, even as Survivors and others work to maintain their distinctive cultures, traditions, and governance.
The report offers 94 calls to action on the part of governments, churches, public institutions and non-Aboriginal Canadians as a path to meaningful reconciliation of Canada today with Aboriginal citizens. Even though the historical experience of residential schools constituted an act of cultural genocide by Canadian government authorities, the United Nation's declaration of the rights of aboriginal peoples and the specific recommendations of the Commission offer a path to move from apology for these events to true reconciliation that can be embraced by all Canadians ... mmary.html

The report is available for free in PDF format on our website: ... SL2jk.dpuf
Kchi Migwech Gzheminido Kinagego

Re: Help Heal Cultural Genocide in Canada

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has acknowledged shocking details about the violence of Canada’s near past. Deepening poverty and inequality are a scar on the country’s present. And Canada’s record on climate change is a crime against humanity’s future.

These facts are all the more jarring because they depart so dramatically from our stated values: respect for Indigenous rights, internationalism, human rights, diversity, and environmental stewardship.
Kchi Migwech Gzheminido Kinagego

Re: Help Heal Cultural Genocide in Canada

Hello! I think that post which you quoted made from my account was really made by Hobby when he was using this admin account for fixing the forum few months ago before I took it over. Sorry but im not familiar with this. Can you explain about your blog from GI and the subforum? I am new to this. You can either reply here or send me a PM if you like. I am happy to help.

Re: Help Heal Cultural Genocide in Canada

Sorry IS37 for not getting back on this...Thanks for responding.

Please correct me if I am wrong but other than Mayan prophesies and general spirituality I see no where for indigenous topics specifically. At Gi's we were given a blog when requested and that's where I posted usually in
' mak attack'

It's not that I need my own blog but would like to see something where it would be easy to go to find and learn of indigenous issues and reference.

I speak specifically of these threads

The Great Sioux Nation Council Statement ... 75711.html

Columbus' Legacy of Genocide

Idle No More ... 64122.html

lakota law Law#p1954355

Mind you I have them all here some at least.

The elders and wise ones have much to teach. For too long they have been ignored and indeed are not extinct as some would allude.

Thanks for the discussion...xx
Kchi Migwech Gzheminido Kinagego

Re: Help Heal Cultural Genocide in Canada

Justice Murray Sinclair, one of Canada's most esteemed legal scholars

Murray Sinclair wants the legal profession to know that Indigenous law has a long and established history in Canada, longer than Western law in fact.

Justice Sinclair was one of the keynote speakers at the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice Annual Conference in Saskatoon this October.

The theme of this year’s conference is Aboriginal Peoples and Law: “We Are All Here to Stay.”

Sinclair is one of the country’s most esteemed Aboriginal legal scholars. He was Manitoba’s first Aboriginal judge and served as the co-commissioner of Manitoba’s Aboriginal Justice Inquiry.

Sinclair also wrote the Report of the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Inquest, which examined the deaths of 12 children in the pediatric cardiac surgery program at Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre in 1994.

More recently he served as the chair of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

In a roughly 40 minute presentation, Justice Sinclair told the legal conference Aboriginal people already had established norms in the areas of family law, marriage and divorce, civil and property rights, adjudication and criminal law long before colonization.

He says it has been a long-standing Western myth that Aboriginal people did not have established property rights, which is blatantly false.

“I’ve always chafed a bit at the dominant theory that’s held by white legal authorities who say that Indians had no knowledge, no tradition of owning property,” Sinclair says. “To which I’ve always wanted to say out loud, ‘bullshit.’ Because the reality is that you owned things, you owned your weapons, your teepee, your property – you owned the things that you’d earned. They belonged to you and no one could take those things away from you. You owned the territory that you occupied, it was your land, your property, and therefore anybody that interfered with that would suffer the consequences. So, ownership of property was a very dominant feature of all Indian societies long before Europeans came here.”

Sinclair also says there are a lot of existing myths as to how oral history actually works.

In Western knowledge, there is the misguided belief that oral history is a single interpretation of an event that gets passed on from generation to generation which therefore heightens the chance of inaccuracies as the story gets further and further away from its original source.

However, he says this is false.

Sinclair says oral history involves a group of people participating in the held beliefs of how an event occurred until consensus is reached. “At the end of that dialogue there would be a consensus within the room that everybody agreed that now we have all spoken,” he says. “That’s our history or that’s the history of that event. We all agree that’s history. That’s how oral history works in Ojibway tradition.”

Overall, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission head says both law schools and the legal profession as a whole need to be incorporating Indigenous law into their programming if they want to better relate to Aboriginal people.

“It will be a lot of work to make the changes that are necessary. It begins by the way we change teaching of law in the law schools and for those who are currently practicing law, it also calls upon us to ensure that the professional development programs that are in place by the law societies are also amended in order to reflect more of this understanding than has been the case to this point in time.”

The Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice was a three-day conference. ... etail=1657
Kchi Migwech Gzheminido Kinagego

Re: Help Heal Cultural Genocide in Canada

The question of what to do with records of deeply personal, often heart-wrenching testimony from thousands of survivors of Indian residential schools who sought compensation for sexual and other abuse landed on the doorstep of Ontario's top court Tuesday.

On one side of the two-day hearing are those who argue a lower court judge was right to order the material destroyed in due course. On the other are those who believe it should be kept in perpetuity under appropriate lock and key.

Justice Murray Sinclair, who headed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, said his concern is that the stories of what went on in the schools will be lost forever if the "rich trove" of documents is destroyed as ordered.
■Residential school survivors fear testimony could be made public
■Truth and Reconcilation: CBC's comprehensive coverage

"In a few generations, that will allow people to be able to deny the validity of the stories we have heard," Sinclair told The Canadian Press from Vancouver on Monday.

"Right now there are deniers of those facts."

The records in question come from compensation hearings that arose out of the settlement of a class-action suit against the government and others related to the notorious church-run residential schools.

'That the survivors testified in front of adjudicators and the adjudicators believed them and awarded compensation is an important part of Canada's national memory.'

- Justice Murray Sinclair

Their accounts under the independent assessment process — separate from thousands of others who spoke publicly to Sinclair's judicial commission — were intended to be confidential but the signatories to the class-action settlement never specified what would happen to records of the accounts. Claimants were supposed to have been given a choice at the start of their hearings but weren't.

The claims process turned up the "most significant" stories of the abuse that occurred and they may not have been heard elsewhere, Sinclair said.

"That the survivors testified in front of adjudicators and the adjudicators believed them and awarded compensation is an important part of Canada's national memory."

The head of the claims-adjudication process, Dan Shapiro, with backing from a privacy expert, argued the only way to ensure confidentiality and avoid revictimizing survivors was to destroy the documents once their claims had been finalized.

"All parties agree that the records … contain the most highly sensitive personal information of claimants, alleged perpetrators, witnesses and others," Shapiro's lawyers say in their appeal factum.

"The uncontradicted evidence of claimants and church participants is that they agreed to participate in the [adjudication process] based on the understanding that, with limited exceptions, records produced and prepared … were to be used and disclosed for that purpose alone."

The competing claims and counter-claims left Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Perell with an almost impossible task.

In August last year, Perell ruled the testimony should be kept for 15 years then destroyed. The intervening years should be used to see whether those involved might agree to have their records transferred to a new national archive, he said. If they did, the material would have to be redacted to protect the abusers or others.

The commission calls the ruling "unworkable" on the grounds that there would be no way to ask the more than 30,000 claimant survivors what they would want to see happen to their information — especially given a lack of resources to do so.

For its part, Ottawa argues Perell was wrong to conclude the records were not "government records." The federal government argues it should keep any material deemed to be of historical significance under regular archiving laws, which include proper privacy safeguards.

In all, the Court of Appeal will have to sort out three appeals and four cross-appeals stemming from Perell's ruling ... -1.3292449
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Re: Help Heal Cultural Genocide in Canada

November 3rd will include honouring the long history of events that took place in order for the NCTR to become a reality. Discussions will also explore what the future of reconciliation will look like and celebrate the ongoing process of reconciliation.

November 4th will focus on education and will feature the unveiling of the Centre’s new online database.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 – University of Manitoba, Fort Garry Campus:

Dignitaries include:
•The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair, Truth and Reconciliation Commission
•Dr. Marie Wilson, Commissioner, Truth and Reconciliation Commission
•Phil Fontaine, President of Ishkonigan and former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations will be recognized for his courage in coming forward as a Survivor of Indian Residential Schools and for his vision in calling for a national inquiry.
•Residential School Survivors
•Honorary Witnesses of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
•Senior leaders of Parties to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.
•Dr. David T. Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Manitoba
•Dr. Cindy Blackstock
•Wab Kinew
•Nathan Obed, President, Inuit Tapirit Kanatami
•Regional Chief Kevin Hart, Assembly of First Nations

When and Where:
•12:30 p.m.: Lighting of sacred fire, National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, Chancellor’s Hall, 177 Dysart Road, University of Manitoba
•1 – 1:15 p.m.: Procession to University Centre
•1:30 p.m.: Welcome remarks and Official Opening Ceremonies, Manitoba Room (Rm 224) of University Centre
•2 -4:30 p.m. Reconciliation Dialogue – “The Path Forward”, Manitoba Room (Rm 224) of University Centre

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 – RBC Winnipeg Convention Centres:

What: Official launch of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation Archive
When: 1:50 p.m. Website live at 2:00 pm

Where: Hall A, Winnipeg Convention Centre

Over 1,700 students and 350 teachers from across Manitoba are gathering at the Convention Centre to take part in workshops as part of this day.

Education Day Highlights
•1,700 students and 350 teachers from across Manitoba.
•Students from 35 of the 37 school divisions as well as from 7 Independent Schools and 8 First Nations Schools
•Workshops include Truth and Reconciliation Through Music with singers Nathan Cunningham, Leanne Goose and Rona Yellow Robe, Forum Theatre, Project of Heart, the Blanket Exercise, Inuit Reflections, the Metis Experience as well as a 4 generation intergenerational panel with Sadie North and her family.  
•Youth Dialogue Panel with First Nations, Métis, Inuit, non-Indigneous and newcomer youth addressing what reconciliation means to them.
•Facebook will be launching their "Think Before You Share" platform in Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut.
•Launch of the Imagine a Canada national essay and art competition. This competition will culminate in 10 youth attending a special ceremony at Rideau Hall March 1, 2016 hosted by the Governor General of Canada.  

Event Partners - Education Day is presented in partnership with:
•Manitoba Teachers' Society.
•Manitoba Association of School Superintendents
•Province of  Manitoba, Ministry of Education
•Canadian Museum for Human Rights
•City of Winnipeg

With special contributions by:
•Winnipeg School Division
•Manitoba Métis Federation/ Louis Riel Institute
•First Nations Child and Family Caring Society
•BC Teachers' Federation
•Legacy of Hope Foundation

Guests include many Superintendents from throughout Manitoba as well as Education Minister James Allum, President David Barnard, TRC Commissioners Marie Wilson and Justice Murray Sinclair and TRC Honorary Witness Clara Hughes. ... -1.3301305 ... ources.pdf
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Re: Help Heal Cultural Genocide in Canada


Time is running out for First Nations across Canada to join a class action lawsuit seeking compensation for aboriginal
students who attended a residential school but did not live there.
Chief Shane Gottfriedson says the stories of those who lost their language and culture while attending residential schools cannot be ignored. (Samantha Garvey/CBC)
The Sechelt Indian Band and the Tk'emlups Indian Band launched the day scholars class action suit in 2012, and the February deadline to opt in is approaching.
Sechelt Nation counsellor Chief Garry Feschuk says the students attended 140 schools across Canada and that 10 other bands have joined the action so far, including those from Alberta and Manitoba.
The suit also hopes to clarify Canada's role in the failure to protect aboriginal language and culture, and seeks compensation for the children of survivors and the bands representing survivors.
Supporters say Canada has recognized residential schools played a key role in what has been called a cultural genocide, but that the federal government also needs to provide compensation for day students.
Chief Shane Gottfriedson, from Tk'emlups Indian Band, (and recently elected as the BC Regional Chief with the Assembly of First Nations) says the stories of those who lost their language and culture while attending residential schools cannot be ignored. ... -1.3312263
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