Posted on September 8th, 2021


At the June 2021 session of the UNHRC in Geneva, Canada led an alliance of 44 States (mainly Western and European countries), demanding that China allow meaningful and unfettered access to investigate credible reports of widespread human rights violations against China’s Muslim minority Uighur in Xinjiang province.

Immediately after this China delivered a joint statement, on behalf of eight countries (Belarus, China, DPRK, Iran, Russia, Sri Lanka, Syria, and Venezuela) expressing ‘[deep concern] about serious human rights violations against the indigenous people

Canada,’ and demanding a UN investigation into Canada’s serious human rights violations against indigenous people.’

This was a reference to the recent discovery of a mass grave containing the remains of over 200 children, at the site of a former ‘residential school’ for indigenous children in British Columbia. China argued that the discovery of the mass grave demonstrates long-standing discrimination against indigenous people in Canada, and drew particular attention to the treatment of indigenous children from the 1830s to the 1990s. During this period, many children were forcibly taken away from their parents and sent to boarding schools, where they were often victims of malnutrition, violence, rape, and abuse.

Canada has this image internationally of a great defender of human rights violations, the protector of human rights throughout the world, but in its own backyard it has ’ violated the rights of   the indigenous inhabitants, agreed critics. Canada’s ugly record of Genocide is now emerging.

Canada has its own ugly record of Genocide, critics said. Canada destroyed the indigenous people of Canada. There was forced sterilization. Canada created a special school system for the indigenous children, the Resident or Industrial School system run by the Federal Government and the Church. Residential Schools were part of a policy to eliminate Aboriginal people as distinct peoples and to assimilate them into the Canadian mainstream against their will.”

From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend state-funded Christian schools, most run by Roman Catholic missionary congregations, in a campaign to assimilate them into Canadian society. Nearly three-quarters of the 130 residential schools were run by Catholic missionary congregations, with others operated by the United, Presbyterian and Anglican churches.

This school system removed children from parents, who were not permitted to visit their children. They in fact never saw their children again. The result was children who lacked family love and parental guidance.

Over 70% of the children were tortured, sexually abused by school teachers, priests, and nuns. When they left school after 10 years, their level of knowledge and education was at the level of a Grade 2 child. They did not receive higher education or skills. They often resorted to larceny, drug and alcohol addiction, ending up as urban poor.

Five generations of children went through this school system. Between1890-1970 over 100,000 children were forced to attend 139 resident schools. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in 2015 released its final report, documenting the tragic experience of at least 150,000 residential school students.

The government has admitted that physical and sexual abuse was rampant in the schools, with students beaten for speaking their native languages. Thousands of children died there of disease and other causes, many never returned to their families.

The discovery of 600 or more remains of children at the Marieval Indian Residential School, which operated from 1899 to 1997, in the province of Saskatchewan, the remains of 215 children, some as young as 3, were found buried on the site of what was once Canada’s largest Indigenous residential school near Kamloops, British Columbia.

Canadians across the country are waking up to something that quite frankly that Indigenous communities have long known,” Mr. Trudeau said . Canada’s genocide was camouflaged as state policy and it was carried out with state patronage and blessings. Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a formal apology in Parliament in 2008 and Canada offered billions of dollars in compensation as part of a lawsuit settlement between the government, churches and the approximately 90,000 surviving students. ( CONTINUED)

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