The Jews called it Shoah which means “Calamity”. The Germans called it the “Final Solution”. Most people know it as the Holocaust. But when the Nazi party murdered 6 million people during WW2 it was recognized and condemned as the unforgivable sin and a global blemish on humanity.
Amongst oppressed peoples, the Jewish Holocaust has become the metric to compare the relative suffering and anguish sustained at the hands of corruption. Today as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission unveils their findings in a 360 page report, the Canadian people will ponder over terms such as “Cultural Genocide” and “Forced assimilation” without any experience or basis to fully appreciate these horrible offences.
The history of the North American genocide tells us that the majority of indigenous people perished long before residential schools were devised. Tell the average Canadian that at least 90 million indigenous inhabitants died from smallpox and other diseases from 1492-1848 and they will dispute your claims. “If this is true why wasn’t I taught it in school?” they will say. This huge figure is what historian Henry F. Dobyns tallied but sadly, it just so happens that in this case, the perpetrator is also the educator.
There seems to be consensus amongst the academic community that these 90 million people were not murdered intentionally – it was just a “happy” coincidence. Their sudden deaths left swaths of beautiful landscape free for the taking and settling by our European friends. The genocidal actions came afterwards. So what did the pilgrims do to the few Indians who remained after moving into the house?
Let’s think of an analogy. Imagine if the Nazi party devised a long term plan to ‘change’ the European Jew instead of killing them. An insidious plot to convert the Jewish mind into a German mind. Imagine if instead of killing 6 million Jews they were able to transmogrify them all into subservient citizens who renounced their Abrahamic God, their Hebrew tongue and their culture and replacing it all with everything German. Imagine if Hitler had the power to turn every Jew into a Nazi replete with Zeig Heil salutes and copies of Mein Kampf in every household.
The founding fathers of Canada called it the “Indian Problem” and this Nazi analogy describes their methods for solving it. The Queen, Sir John A. MacDonald, and Duncan Campbell Scott created the systems and the legislation to commit cultural and ethnic genocide against the flesh and blood Onkwehonwe populations of this continent. Everyday as indigenous people use Canadian money to live their lives they see their Hitler’s staring back at them.
Can anyone imagine thousands of tiny children crying themselves to sleep for 100 years unable to see their mothers and fathers. These children were systematically taught to hate their own language, culture and brown skin. Descendents of the most socially advanced and peaceful society on earth taught that their ways were inferior, uncivilized and barbaric by a nation of cruel and insidious invaders. This is the true history of Canada.
It would be a grim story if it ended there but this tale is perpetually in motion. The poetic plot twist is that the Royal efforts taken to mold us into their image didn’t work. Instead our laughter persists and our spirits remain unbroken. There is a generation of survivors who are revitalizing the languages, remembering the ancient ways and retelling the horror story of colonization in our own way. Our European visitors are a strange bunch, and since they showed us their true selves we know them intimately.
It has now become the responsibility of the indigenous suvivors to deal with the European Problem. And our methods involve peace, power and righteousness.