13 September 2015

#43 Probably Didn’t Even Read It

For over a century, the central goals of Canada’s Aboriginal policy were to eliminate Aboriginal governments; ignore Aboriginal rights; terminate the Treaties; and, through a process of assimilation, cause Aboriginal peoples to cease to exist as distinct legal, social, cultural, religious, and racial entities in Canada. The establishment and operation of residential schools were a central element of this policy, which can best be described as “cultural genocide.”
— From the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
I doubt the Prime Minister, who didn’t bother to show up for the launch of the report (his minister sat when everyone else stood in flagrant disrespect), has even so much as skimmed this report or its recommendations. I probably shouldn’t be so cynical, right? After all, the Prime Minister is a busy guy, why would he find time to read the report of a commission examining the harms done over the course of more than a century to the cultures from whom our ancestors misappropriated this land, attempting to assimilate them and to wipe them out of existence?

The Prime Minister made a lot of his government’s apology in 2009 for these harms, but he has really done nothing else. Well, nothing good. Just more attacks on the autonomy of First Nations people, personal attacks on those who dare to denounce what the government is and isn’t doing, but mostly a whole lot of nothing.

Reading the report — even just the recommendations — is really the least he could do. But that’s where I’m mistaken: he is doing even less than that.

You can find the report and other related documents here.

Further reading here

“Sorry” won’t cut it
when there is so much to do
to repair the harm

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