Friday, July 27, 2007

Canada - First Nations are Victims of the Government! (Part 1)

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Swampy Cree Communities on James Bay *******
Attawapiskat, Ontario
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Suicides turn focus on stricken north
Plight of First Nations children's aid societies to get special attention in provincial review
Tanya Talaga
Toronto Star, Saturday, December 19, 2009
Ontario will place special focus on the plight of First Nations children's aid societies when the province reviews the laws that govern child welfare, youth justice and adoption practices next year, the Star has learned.

Northern children's aid societies are in the midst of fighting a suicide epidemic while also going broke. In the last year, 13 teens living in the remote communities along the James and Hudson Bay coasts, and, throughout the isolated north have committed suicide - all by hanging. The youngest to die was 14.
"Our agency is faced with an unprecedented regional suicide crisis," said Ernest Beck, executive director of Payukotayno James and Hudson Bay Family Services in Moosonee, a train-and fly-in-only community of 2,800. Beck has asked the Ontario government for emergency funding for four suicide prevention workers to help manage the crisis.
Children and Youth Services Minister Laurel Broten told the Star she had not spoken to Beck about this request, but will look into it. Broten, along with Aboriginal Affairs Minister Brad Duguid, plans to travel to the north in January to meet with First Nations community leaders and children's aid staff to see the problems they face first-hand. "I know that there are significant challenges in the north," Broten said. "Additional short-term money is not everything needed. I also know strong, child welfare alone won't be enough."
There is no simple fix to the issues of poverty, despair and isolation in the north, she added.
Payukotayno is struggling under a crushing debt load that leaves the agency unable to provide the same level of service children in southern Ontario receive. Last week, the government gave the agency a $2.3 million bailout after Beck threatened to lay off all 120 staff members and shut the agency down because of lack of money. However, the funds will only last until the end of March.
The costs of protecting and serving children in the north are comparatively high. Payukotayno often must dish out $400 a minute to charter a plane to rescue a child in crisis in a remote, fly-in reserve such as Attawapiskat or Kashechewan. Beck said they don't get extra funds to handle this cost.
"You can't do a lot here without paying a premium," said Beck.
The government review of the Child and Family Services Act will place special focus on children's aid societies' compliance with their obligations to provide services to First Nations children. A review of the legislation is conducted every five years. The government will also meet with First Nations representatives and service providers.
"This is an opportunity to look at the broad issue of how the act is working, how aboriginal children can be cared for - how the customary care model is working and how we can best support families," Broten said. "Maybe the foster care system isn't that strong - can we strengthen it? That is what we are looking at."
The findings of the review should be available by March 31, 2010.
High costs of living translate into a lack of foster homes, said Payukotayno's director of services, Marlene Kapashesit. Groceries in the Moosonee store cost nearly double those in the south - a box of Tide detergent costs about $17. Close to 70 Payukotayno kids have been shipped as far south as Toronto because of a lack of foster beds.
"We would really like to see our children come back," she said.  
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Battle brewing over native school
Graham Richardson
March 6, 2008
CTV.ca News Staff
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080306/ndp_youtube_080306?s_name=&no_ads=They go to school in portables in the sometimes minus 40 degree weather of northern Ontario, while an elementary school sits empty nearby, made inhabitable by an oil spill.
They are the children of the native community of Attawapiskat and they are stuck in the middle of a political battleground.
Charlie Angus, the NDP MP for the region, has taken the fight to Ottawa, demanding a new school be built for the community. He even posted a video on YouTube, chronicling the children's plight, and the video became one of the most watched political videos on the website this week.
The video features stills of children holding signs such as "A school is like a heart, you need a healthy one" set to a version of "Stand by Me." At the end of the video, viewers are asked to write to Chuck Strahl, minister for Indian Affairs and Northern Development, about the school.
Four hundred children in the community have been attending classes in portables since 2000. Parents pulled their children out of J.R. Nakogee School that year because of all the health problems reported since a massive diesel leak at the school in 1979.
"No library, no playground. The situation would never be accepted anywhere else in the country," Angus told CTV News. "Why is it acceptable for First Nation children in Ontario?"
Angus traded words with Strahl earlier this week, saying that Strahl had put a "full stop" on a plan to build a new school.
The community says that since 2000, successive Indian Affairs ministers have promised them a new school, but to no avail.
Strahl has said that while the situation is unfortunate, the government simply doesn't have the funds right now as there are other communities that need a new school more.
He said that $1.7 billion is in the budget for native education and that 12 new school projects are going ahead this year.
Because another school burnt down near Attawapiskat, $13 million not in the budget needed to be used in the region to build another school, Strahl said.
The campaign for a new school in Attawapiskat has gone beyond the community, in part because of the YouTube video. Students in other schools in Ontario are helping out by petitioning Ottawa.
"In Canada . . . we are rich and we can't find enough to provide schools for the First Nations people?" asks Julien Dyer, a student at Neil McNeil High School in Scarborough, Ont. "We were just surprised and pretty shocked and disgusted by that."
But Strahl says that he is responsible for over 600 schools across the reserve system and many of them are in worse conditions than the one in Attawapiskat.
He told CTV News that his children even spent time in portable classrooms in British Columbia.
"Kids in portables, it's not ideal . . . but it's not unheard of either," Strahl said Thursday on Canada AM.
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Charlie Angus reveals document on Attawapiskat School
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Evacuation of Attawapiskat Begins - Local Leaders Declare State Of Emergency Because Of Flood Threat
Brian Beaton, brianbeaton@knet.ca
TORONTO, May 9, 2008
http://media.knet.ca/node/3878
A severe threat of flooding has prompted the leaders of Attawapiskat to arrange for the airlift of at-risk residents.
The breakup of the Attawapiskat River is creating ice jams that could pose significant risks of flooding in the community, located on the James Bay coast, 500 kilometres north of Timmins. As a result, local leaders have declared a state of emergency, following discussions with provincial and federal officials.
The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR)
(http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/index.html) is coordinating flight operations to ensure the quick and safe departure of the evacuees. Today, some of the 300 most vulnerable residents of the community: the sick, elderly, infants and those with special needs, will begin to be flown out to safety.
Local leaders, MNR and Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) (http://www.emergencymanagementontario.ca/english/home.html) officials are monitoring the ice breakup near Attawapiskat to determine if a broader evacuation should begin soon. As a precaution, 12 residents who were receiving medical care at the local clinic had already been airlifted by air ambulance to facilities across northern Ontario two weeks ago.
MNR and EMO officials are currently working to ensure the successful evacuation of Attawapiskat and the hosting of its residents in communities across the north. Distances, weather conditions, the availability of aircraft and the capacity of host municipalities, are the main factors considered by provincial planners.
Quotes"Our first priority is the safety of Attawapiskat residents," said Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Rick Bartolucci (http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/about_min/bio.html). "We have to begin evacuating the most vulnerable members of the community now, before flooding occurs, because once it does, it might be more difficult to conduct an evacuation."
"The experts in my ministry's aviation services are playing a key role in the efforts to ensure the safety of a coastal community," said Natural Resources Minister Donna Cansfield(http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/About/2ColumnSubPage/226953.html)."They are working closely with local leaders to ensure the orderly and safe departure of Attawapiskat residents."
Quick Facts
- Today's planned airlift will bring up to 220 vulnerable residents of Attawapiskat to Kapuskasing and MNR officials are looking for more aircraft to increase that number.
- More than 1,400 Attawapiskat residents could be airlifted out of the community over the next few days if necessary.
- All of the 1,433 residents of Fort Albany and Kashechewan, who had been airlifted from these two coastal communities since April 25th, are now back home.
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Kashechewan, Ontario
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Kashechewan is located on the north side of the Albany River. It is approximately 82 air miles from Moosonee. The community is accessible by air all year round and by boat when the water is not frozen, otherwise, by vehicle or snowmobile on the winter road. In 1957, the community was established when conflict over religious beliefs occurred in Fort Albany.
Fort Albany is primarily Roman Catholic and as a result Anglicans relocated to the present community of Kashechewan.
Originally part of the Fort Albany First Nation, Kashechewan received official first nation recognition in 1977.
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How Could This Be Canada?
Kashechewan Reserve situation showcases Canadian First Nations realities
By Cindy Drukier & Jan Jekielek
Epoch Times Toronto Staff
Nov 03, 2005
http://en.epochtimes.com/news/5-11-3/34095.html
Sick with diarrhea and skin infections, residents are airlifted from their home in Kashechewan – a remote First Nations reserve on James Bay – to escape E. coli-laced drinking water. For over eight years, Kashechewan residents have been on and off boil-water advisories, dirty water exacerbating contagious skin diseases like impetigo and scabies. In all, 1,200 of the approximately 1,700 residents have been evacuated and scattered in Sudbury, Timmins, Cochrane, Sault Ste. Marie and even far away Ottawa. It’s the largest medical evacuation of its kind in Canadian history. For those who remain, a Hercules C130 brought in a reverse-osmosis water filtration system, the same kind that Canada recently sent, also by Hercules, to help quake victims in Pakistan.
Few Imagined Such a Scene Happening in CanadaThe recent events on the Kashechewan reserve have left a lot of Canadians scratching their heads, asking themselves how this could happen in a country as rich as Canada? A better question might be, how could we have let it go on for so long?
Not a New SituationMichael Roberts, a physician who taught grade two on the reserve some 30 years ago, says the water issues he’s reading about today, sound strikingly familiar. “Not only when I arrived [in 1975] did I have to get a globulin shot because there was hepatitis A, there was a boil-water advisory then too.”
The sad fact is that developing world-quality drinking water is endemic on First Nations reserves throughout Canada.
“The situation nationally has been known for many years... The situation is echoed across the country and it’s a ticking time bomb. Any community under a boil-water advisory could at any time find themselves in a situation like the one in Kashechewan,” said Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief, Phil Fontaine, in an AFN statement.
Currently, about 100 First Nations communities must boil their water.
“Most, if not all our communities are, or have been in recent memory, under boil-water advisories for extended periods,” Alvin Fiddler told wawatay online, a news outlet in northern Ontario. Fiddler is Deputy Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, which covers two-thirds of the province.
In Alberta alone, Health Canada has issued 54 boil-water advisories on Native Reserves so far this year, which is 58 percent over the province’s final tally for last year.
In 2003, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) released a report citing that out of 740 water systems surveyed in aboriginal communities, 218 were at high risk for bad water. In other words, 29 percent of cases were Walkertons waiting to happen. In Walkerton, Ontario, seven people died and thousands of others fell ill from E. coli contaminated drinking water in May 2000.
Root Causes
The causes of this persistent pan-Canada crisis run deep. One issue is that there are actually no laws regulating water safety for First Nations communities, there are merely guidelines. Normally, the provinces look after water, but since First Nations fall under the federal INAC, something vital seems to have dripped through the cracks.
Barely two weeks before we first heard of Kashechewan, Environment and Sustainable Development Commissioner Johanne Gélinas released an annual report in which she devoted an entire chapter to the issue of drinking water safety in First Nations communities. She was particularly concerned about this gap in safety standards legislation. “Most Canadians take it for granted their drinking water is safe,” Gélinas wrote. “But the nearly half-million Canadians living in First Nations communities have no such assurance.”
As a result, the quality of drinking water in First Nations communities is considerably lower than elsewhere in Canada. The analogy to Walkerton fits. In Justice Dennis R. O'Connor’s Walkerton Inquiry report, he heavily criticized the current non-regime in Ontario.
"There is no justification for permitting lower public health standards for some residents of Ontario than those enjoyed by others… here is ample evidence that the water provided in First Nations communities falls well short of the standards of safety and adequacy that are considered acceptable in other parts of the province."
According to Health Canada, responsibility for the management of water and wastewater in First Nations communities is shared between the communities and the federal government. For the planning, development and day-to-day operations of water and wastewater facilities, First Nations Chief and Council are expected to “take the lead.” INAC in turn, provides the overall funding and training for water facilities operators.
This is another area where the system is in ill repair. Human error has been identified as an immediate cause of the Kashechewan problem. According to reports by Chris LeBlanc, a process expert with Northern Waterworks Inc who was dispatched to fix Kashechewan, there was a “malfunction in the chlorination system . . . and the back-up system didn't work because it had never been hooked up.”
Such errors seem inevitable when water plant operators in northern communities are woefully under-trained. Among water treatment facility operators on reserves, 61 percent are not certified, says INAC, which is an improvement over 92 percent in 2003.
“Some efforts are being made for certification but it’s difficult because people are expected to learn on the equipment right away,” said Deputy Grand Chief Fiddler. “There’s no applied learning to know what you’re doing before you start working on the real thing. They shouldn’t be learning on the job like that right away.”
LeBlanc says that when communities don’t like the high levels of chlorine in their water necessary to kill contaminants, they complain so the operators crank the levels down. Conversely, when contaminants are high, chlorine “shocks” are used which can cause rashes or irritate other ailments. In which case, people don’t want to use the water which only aggravates other health problems.
What no one can seem to account for is why the water intake was placed just downstream from the sewage lagoon, the source of the contamination, in the first place. Dr. Murray Trussler, chief of staff at Weeneebayko General Hospital in Moose Factory, told the Toronto Star that whoever decided to place a water intake there "obviously didn't know much about public health, and it's a disgrace."
Pervasive poverty in our Aboriginal communities fills in more of the picture. Unemployment rates are a staggering 80-85 percent in Kashechewan. Homes, not built to accommodate a growing population, are overcrowded and needing repair. Mould has also taken hold due to the flooding. The nursing station badly needs upgrading. All of this puts additional pressure on sewage and water systems as well as assisting the spread of contagious diseases. Basically, we have developing world conditions right here in Canada.
In 2004, at the behest of the Canadian government, Rodolfo Stavenhagen investigated living conditions of indigenous peoples in Canada for the United Nations Human Rights Commission. He found that, “Economic, social and human indicators of well-being, quality of life and development are completely lower among Aboriginal people than other Canadians.” In terms of the UN Human Development Index, which ranks countries by quality of life, Canada has taken top spot five times since 1996, but our Native communities on their own rank 48th.
Another part of the explanation may come from the culture of INAC itself. Karan Aquino, a former Senior Executive with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and currently an advisor to First Nations has seen the system up close. “People [in INAC] won’t stand up to a problem. Instead, they want as much distance as possible from one in case it reflects poorly on them or they get fired.”
Even more systemic, Aquino feels that improvement will only come when there’s a change is the relationship of dependency. “It’s this dependency and the fact that the current institutions keep the First Nations under their thumb, that’s where the problems are… It doesn’t seem there’s any willingness – unless it’s a big national disgrace – to actually engage with the First Nations in a model, or an alternative that will get them out from under this dependency. It’s just rhetoric and it’s just awful.”
Solutions
The question of solutions is naturally, just as complicated as the problem. The federal government is now throwing millions of dollars at Kashechewan. Two weeks into the crisis, INAC Minister Andy Scott announced that “Whatever Kashechewan wants, Kashechewan will get.” So, Kashechewan will get a new location, new homes and a new water system. Other communities may see better water too, given Ottawa’s 2003 initiative to spend $1.6-billion over five years to improve water services. Spread out over 900 communities, that’s about $1.7 million each; a new water treatment plant, like the one just opened in Wunnumin, can cost $5 million.
While money is helpful, it is unclear whether it will be put towards sustainable practices. Fontaine wants to see a continued “collaborative undertaking” with Canada and the provinces to address the whole range of First Nations development-related issues. This will hopefully take place at the First Minister’s meeting later this month in Kelowna.
What many in the aboriginal community would like to see is a transformation of the relationship of dependency that Aquino talked about, into something with more equal respect and ownership. But some First Nations leaders, including Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy, think that the Canadian government don’t see much merit in increasing the stature of First Nations.
“They have benefitted so much from this arrangement in terms of developing our lands and resources. It is estimated that $20 billion is removed annually from our territory in raw materials and proceeds from tourism, yet we get less than two percent back in transfer payments,” said Beardy, according to wawatay online.
But this is all in the long term. In the meantime, Kashechewan residents are being restored to health and can look towards a new future. Hopefully it will be a future built upon a genuine partnership between Ottawa and the people of Kashechewan.
Kash plan addresses classroom shortage - New school to house all students
Scott Paradis
Timmins Daily Press
August 09, 2007
http://media.knet.ca/node/2919
Kashechewan could have enough classrooms to accommodate all of its children this fall - a luxury the First Nation hasn't enjoyed in two years. The $200-million federal government deal for Kashechewan will provide it with a new school.
In the meantime, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) intends to provide the First Nation with space to address its current classroom shortage.
"We are working with the community to provide it with portables," said Joe Young, a director of funding services for INAC.
Those portables would be serving a community that hasn't produced a high school graduate on its own soil in about two years.
INAC officials elaborated on details about the school, among other things, in Kashechewan Wednesday afternoon during a special media phone briefing.
That briefing intended to give reporters - who have long tracked the plight of Kashechewan's "historical background" - information along with any possible "next steps," said INAC representative Bob Howsam.
One of those next steps is to build an all-in-one elementary and high school for the community.
More than two years ago, Kashechewan's elementary school was condemned due to toxic mould, among other issues. Any belief that the school would be re-opened went up in smoke, literally, when a fire ripped through the building in late June.
Since the originally condemning of that school, elementary students have been sharing the high school facilities.
The students now go to school in shifts - elementary school students hit the books in the morning while high school students attend later in the afternoon and into the evening.
INAC said it is working with the community to ensure that when the school is built, it will be a size that can "accommodate" all the First Nation's children.
But INAC, while it hopes to provide the remote First Nation with portables come this fall, cannot guarantee that timeline.
"We're taking steps forward," said Young. "We're hopeful for fall." There are numerous challenges when bringing infrastructure to an isolated community, he said.
For Kashechewan, the new school can't come soon enough.
The community's school has not produced a graduate for nearly two entire years.
That fact was highlighted in a recent report, which took an in-depth look at Kashechewan, its problems and potential solutions.
Former cabinet minister Alan Pope conducted that report.
During an one-on-one interview with The Daily Press last week, Pope revealed that he had "a lot of problems" with Kashechewan's school. "The school system is $9 million-a-year of public expenditure and they haven't had a graduate in two years," he said.
"And they don't teach math or sciences. So no one coming out of there could possibly advance their education."
Pope doesn't conclude what has caused the First Nation's education system to fail so badly, however, he does suggest that the multiple community evacuations could be at play.
Three times in the span of a year Kashechewan had been partially or fully evacuated - twice because of spring-time floods and once because of concerns over the quality of the community's drinking water.
MP Charlie Angus (NDP - Timmins-James Bay) said he hopes INAC is serious not only when it says it will provide a new school, but portables in the meantime as well.
"They can't miss another year," he said.
"These years lost are years these kids can't get back."
Angus admits that he hasn't thoroughly went through the details of this promised school.
He said talk of a new school sounds promising, but he hopes the community will get it without having to fight for it. "If the government is moving at a good speed on this, than it will be very good news," Angus said.
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Shutting down Kashechewan
Jonathan Kay, National Post Published: Tuesday, November 14, 2006
http://www.nationalpost.com/scripts/story.html?id=0652dd4c-6ef2-4d85-8a50-f64c96a997ad&k=29624
'The road to hell is paved with good intentions," goes the cliche. Nowhere is this more true than in Canada, a rich country speckled with hellish islands of squalor, disease, crime and substance abuse.
If these were white communities, they'd have been shuttered long ago. And their inhabitants would have moved to more prosperous urban areas.
But this is where those good intentions come into play: The places I'm describing are native reserves. We pay billions to prop them up because two generations of politicians and academics have told us that what natives really need -- more than jobs or education or proper health care -- is the chance to revive their ancient hunter-gatherer cultures amidst the splendor of their ancestral lands.
It is a silly, romantic fantasy. And also an expensive one: Canadian taxpayers spend $9-billion per year to feed, clothe and house reserve-resident natives -- or roughly $80,000 per reserve-resident household. We pay more for our Third World communities than any real Third World country you can name.
When the issue is native policy, Canadians have shown themselves willing to ignore everything we've ever learned about human nature. Soviet communism collapsed almost two decades ago. Even Israeli kibbutzniks have abandoned their socialist mantras. Yet here in Canada, we still style our native reserves after the precepts of Karl Marx: Aboriginal land is held communally, and important economic decisions are made by band chiefs, who in turn dribble out jobs and cash to the powerless rank and file. Thus do the parts of Canada that most desperately need economic development mimic the policies of Ceausescu's Romania and Arafat's Gaza.
The problem is not just intellectual, but political. Thanks to the aforementioned $9-billion being put into the hands of band chiefs every year, native leaders campaign aggressively against any "reform" that goes beyond handing them more money and power. Even the modest changes contained in the Chretien government's First Nations Governance Act were killed by Paul Martin when they got bad reviews from the chiefs. Instead, Martin went to Kelowna, B.C., in 2005, and pledged an extra $5.1-billion for natives -- as if welfare economics were the solution to native misery instead of the problem.
But we may be witnessing the first stirrings of change. On Nov. 8, former Ontario cabinet minister Alan Pope delivered to Ottawa a ground-breaking plan for dealing with the Kashechewan First Nation near James Bay, one of Canada's most notorious reserves. If acted on, his proposal could represent the most significant development in native policy since Ottawa shelved Jean Chretien's 1969 White Paper on the subject.
Kashechewan made headlines a year ago when the whole community was evacuated following an E. coli outbreak in the sewage-contaminated water supply. On June 6, 2006, Pope was appointed Special Representative of the Minister of Indian Affairs, with a mandate to develop a strategy for helping Kashechewan.
Pope's official report, based on a personal door-to-door survey of Kashechewan's residents, shows that E. coli is just one problem of many. Unemployment is at 90%. There is no local police force. "Vandalism, reckless driving and other out-of-control conduct" are common. Garbage is everywhere. As on many reserves, "homes in the community are often poorly maintained by the occupants with no sense of responsibility for their living conditions."
Nor are prospects better for the next generation. Pre- and post-natal health care is non-existent. The education system is terrible -- and getting worse: "Due to recent evacuations, lack of employment, limited economic opportunities and the low value placed on education by some community members, the quality and availability of education services is actually declining." Science and math aren't taught at all. Nor are the "cultural or traditional values programs" that are supposed to be the raison d'etre of aboriginal self-segregation.
During my time covering this issue as a journalist, I've read many reports like this, and they've invariably ended the same way -- with calls for more money. But Pope's solution is radically different: Though he does want the government to ante up for infrastructure and services in the short term, the author recognizes that, in the long-term, cash isn't enough. "To remain in isolation with no access to income or employment opportunities," he concludes, "is to sentence this community to despair and poverty."
Pope's specific recommendation is that the whole community move to the outskirts of Timmins, Ont., a medium-sized town 480 kilometres away that can provide health care, social services, educational opportunities, home ownership and jobs. (Timmins is already home to an estimated 7,000 natives. And Pope himself practises law in the town.)
Under Pope's plan, the people of Kashechewan would retain rights to their traditional lands near the Albany River for hunting, fishing and seasonal cultural rituals. But their real home would be in Timmins. This would not be a relocation from one hopeless outback settlement to another -- as was the case when the Davis Inlet Innu moved to Natuashish, Labrador in 2002 -- but rather a complete sea change that would allow 1,500 Cree Indians to become geographically and economically connected to the mainstream of Canadian society.
It remains to be seen whether anything will come of Pope's plan: Although his report was commissioned by the federal government, the ultimate decision about what to do rests with the residents of Kashechewan. But even if these people end up staying put, Pope has done Canada a valuable service merely by breaking the long-standing taboo that smothered any discussion of integrating Canadian natives.
Pope has dedicated his report "to the children of Kashechewan." Those kids -- as well as native children all across this country -- deserve the same opportunities white children do. And the sad truth is that they won't get them in places like Kashechewan. If assimilating into white population centres is the price to be paid for giving native children a future, that is a price worth paying.
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The grand chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Phil Fontaine, speaks at the AFN national water and housing forum in Toronto, Canada, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2007. Fontaine says the suicide-plagued Kashechewan First Nation is a 'community in crisis.' Media reports suggest that last month alone, 21 young people between the ages of nine and 23 tried to kill themselves.
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Fort Albany

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Hundreds of Cree and Ojibwa children violated
A decades-long pattern of physical and sexual abuse at a residential school in the isolated Northern Ontario community of Fort Albany First Nation is about to result in criminal charges.
by Peter Moon
The Globe and Mail
19 October 1996
After decades of sexual and physical violence against hundreds of aboriginal children, criminal charges are about to be laid against some of the priests, brothers, nuns, and lay workers who ran a residential school in this isolated Cree community of James Bay.
From 1904 to 1973, the federal government forced thousands of bewildered and frightened Cree and Ojibwa children into St. Anne's Residential School operated by a Roman Catholic order. Their fear was apparently justified.
Complaints lodged by many former residents of the school include heterosexual and homosexual rape, illegal abortions, sexual fondling, forced masturbation and many kinds of physical violence, including whipping bare buttocks with a wire strap and using a home-made electric chair into which children were strapped and given jolts as punishment.
The complainants told the police that as children they were forced to eat their own vomit and to kneel in painful positions for hours on concrete floors, were locked up overnight in unlit basements and were subjected to humiliations such as having to stand with their underpants over their heads if the pants has fecal stains on them.
If parents objected to the treatment of their children and tried to keep them out of school, they were told by the missionaries that their family and welfare cheques would not be cashed and that local stores, most of which were run at the time by the Hudson's Bay Co., would not grant them credit.
"I was shocked, absolutely shocked [after reading the police reports]," Martin Lambert, the regional Crown attorney who is processing the charges, said in an interview. "There will be charges laid. As to how many accused, how many charges, I'm still working on it."
The brutal conditions at St. Anne's were known for years in Fort Albany First Nation, a bleak community of about 1,400 on the western shore of James Bay, 1,000 kilometres north of Toronto. The question of whether criminal charges should be laid is an emotionally charged issue on a reserve where Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion.
The situation at Fort Albany is the latest example of the abuses caused when the federal government decided several decades ago to force aboriginal people into residential schools.
The majority of the schools were operated by the main churches with virtually no outside supervision. The policy was intended to force assimilation on the indigenous peoples and prepare them for subservient roles in the dominant white culture of the times.
The charges will follow a three-year investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police that involved more than 900 interviews with complainants and other former residents of St. Anne's Residential School, many of whom had to be traced across the country.
"The interviews stretched from British Columbia to Newfoundland," said Detective Superintendent Larry Edgar, head of the OPP's criminal-investigation branch. "The offences occurred more than 20 years ago. The allegations are against 20 different people, priests, nuns and lay teachers."
Not all those to be charged are elderly, Mr. Lambert said. "Some will be. But some will not be that elderly, because it goes up to the early 1970s."
St. Anne's was run by the Roman Catholic diocese of Moosonee, les Missionaires Oblets de Marie Immaculee (the Oblate order) and les Soeurs de la Charite d'Ottawa (the Grey Nuns). Both Cree and Ojibwa children from isolated communities along the James Bay coast and farther inland were forced to live in the school which kept them from Grades 1 to 8 and sometimes longer. At its peak, St. Anne's held 200 boys and girls.
Allegations about conditions at the school began to reach a wider audience in 1992, when a reunion was held in Fort Albany by former students. As part of the three-day meeting, 30 of the 300 people who attended talked to a special panel about the sexual and physical abuse they say they suffered at the school.
The panalists were two Cree elders, an aboriginal justice of the peace, a deputy grand chief of Nishnawbe-Aski Nation and two aboriginal health officials.
Mary Anne Nakogee-Davis, a former student who helped organize the reunion and has worked extensively with victims, said she was sexually abused herself by a priest at the school. She said the memories still haunt her and, like many victims, she has frequent flashbacks and dreams about the school.
Many of the victims are still devastated mentally by their experiences at the hands of the people who ran St. Anne's, she said.
"This was our Holocaust," she said. "They did not kill us physically, but they killed us emotionally and spiritually."
The panalists' report started the OPP probe, which has lead to serious divisions of opinion in the people living in the communities that sent children to St. Anne's.
The internal community conflict is particularly bitter at Fort Albany, where the school still stands, the largest building in the community. Part of the building houses a day school that is run by the band.
There are still a few crucifixes on the walls of the school, but visitors today are greeted by big signs saying "I'm proud to be Cree," and colourful aboriginal paintings instaed of the dour religious pictures of pain and suffering the students remember.
Many elders and older people within the communities, most of them devout Roman Catholics, do not want charges laid. They argue that the people who ran the school were "servants of God" and that only God can judge them.
Others, such as Leo Loone, a community mental-health worker at James Bay General Hospital in Fort Albany, say criminal charges are justified. Mr. Loone said he sees the results of the abuse meted out at the school on a regular basis among his clients.
Too many people are in denial and do not want to admit what was done to the students, he said.
Mr. Loone spent eight years at St. Anne's and remembers being slapped, punched, hit with rulers and straps and forced by a nun on one occasion to eat his food off the floor.
"She said, 'Eat like a dog.' And I had to slurp it up off the floor with my mouth. I've remembered it ever since."
He said children were taken away from their parents for 10 months a year and forced to live in an atmosphere of constant fear of violence and under the control of people from an alien culture.
"It's not an exaggeration to say that the people who ran St. Anne's for many years did tremendous harm to many people," Mr. Loone said. "That's a fact."
"I work with psychiatrists here [at the hospital] and I tell them what it was like and they tell me it's hard to believe what went on. They say it's amazing how these people survived."
Many of the victims have turned away from Christianity as a result of their experiences. The panal that heard testimony from victims at the 1992 reunion noted in their report "that the people who have made the most progress in their healing processes are those who adopted their own beliefs, including those who went back to their traditional beliefs and practices."
Edmund Metatawabin, chief of the Fort Albany band for eight years, is president of Peetabek Keway Keykaywin (St. Anne's Residential School Survivors Association).
He said the missionaries who ran the school almost obliterated the region's tradional religious beliefs. Recently, he said, largely at the behest of victims, medicine men have been brought into Fort Albany to teach forgotten spiritual ceremonies and to help victims of the school heal. The use of the pipe, drum, sweetgrass and sweat lodge is slowly coming back, although it is opposed by many supporters of the church.
While Mr. Metatawabin was chief, the band had an architect draw up plans for a new school. Its layout was in the shape of an eagle feather, an object of great veneration in North American aboriginal culture. The design was condemned by many community elders, who said it insulted the Roman Catholic Church.
The band has been unable to obtain financing to tear down the school and build a new one. Mr. Metatawabin said the school is a daily reminder to victims of their suffering.
Many victims who have to land at Fort Albany's gravel-runway airfield refuse to look out the plane windows at St. Anne's because simply seeing it has caused tears and anguish.
Arthur Scott, the Fort Albany band's current chief, is sympathetic to the victim's problems, but is opposed to the laying of charges.
"I do not deny that any of these allegations took place and that people suffered. It's very unfortunate. But I believe I am speaking on behalf of the majority of my people, of my grandparents, my parents, and they say that they strongly believe that this issue has become way out of control ..."
"I believe in my religionand I go to church and I take my kids to church. If this case is pushed in my community and charges are laid, what will be the impact in my community and on my children? How much trust and belief will they have in the church any more?"
Mr. Lambert, the Crown attorney, said preliminary hearings for the people who will be charged will be held at Fort Albany. The court flies into the community four times a year and sits in the school's former chapel, the biggest room in the community. The visiting judge, wearing his robe, sits on a simple wooden chair at a trestle table on the spot where the altar formerly stood.
Mr. Scott said he cannot imagine the harm that would be done to the community if it sees elderly priests and nuns led off a plane by the police and into the school they formerly ran - to face criminal charges.
"The police, the court and outsiders, they will only be here for a few days," he said, "but we continue to live here after they are gone. How much of a setback are we going to suffer from this?"
Mr. Scott said that if the elders and the majority of the people ask him to do so he is prepared to have a band council resolution passed under the Indian Act prohibiting the judge and court from entering the reserve.
"A court has been [banned by band council resolution] before. Attawapiskat First Nation has done it. This is Indian territory. We are talking about the majority of the people here.
"I don't support the cause for reviving old wounds. My people like to move on."
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School wants truth out and victims to heal
by Peter Moon
The Globe and Mail
Fort Albany First Nations, Ont.
- The religious organizations that ran St. Anne’s Residential School say they co-operated with the police during the three-year criminal investigation into sexual and physical abuse of aboriginal children at the school and want to help the victims.
“It is important for the people I represent that the truth comes out,” Ronald Caza, the organizations lawyer, said in an interview. “They think it is fundamental that all of the truth come out. There is nothing to hide. We have to bring everything out in the open to deal with it.”
The school was operated from 1904 to 1973 by the Roman Catholic diocese of Moosonee and the Oblate order and the Grey Nuns. Some of the priests, brothers, nuns, and lay workers are about to be charged with sexually and physically assaulting students. Hundreds of the school’s students have been left with deep emotional scars because of abuses in the school.
Mr. Caza said the ideal solution would be to bring the three religious organizations, the governments of Canada and Ontario (which were involved in financing and supervising the school) and the victims together to work out a system of helping them recover from their experiences.
He said the religious organizations have made preliminary attempts to meet with the victims but both governments have been reluctant to get involved.
“The ideal solution would be for the Oblates and Grey Nuns and the bishop [of Moosonee] to sit down with the people who have alleged these things and to say, ‘We’re sorry. All these things happened. What do we have to do to make right what was wrong?’ And they would say, ‘We need this and that.’ And we’d work together to build that.”
Bishop Vincent Cadieux, an Oblate who heads the Moosonee diocese, said the church is not awaiting the results of any trials before trying to help victims heal. “We have a sister [in Fort Albany] who is helping and listening to the people and caring for the people,” he said. We are trying to set up a support system.
“What we have to be careful about is not to put the whole blame on the church. The government also, I believe, has some responsibility.”
Mr. Caza said the facts that are emerging about St. Anne’s have to be set in the perspective of government policy over many decades toward aboriginal people. It was Ottawa that decided aboriginal children should be placed in residential schools and most of the schools should be run by the major Christian churches.
At their peak in the 1960s, there were about 170 aboriginal residential schools. The last federal residential school did not close until 1988, after a wave of scandals about abuses in them broke out in the 1960s and 1970s.
It is now recognized that the schools were a dismal failure and led to generations of aboriginal people receiving inferior educations while losing their cultural identification and the ability to parent and lead normal lives.
The schools are blamed for suicides and alcoholism and for a significant part of the sexual and physical abuse that is endemic in many aboriginal communities.
Psychologists use the term “residential-school syndrome” to describe the symptoms created by loss of culture, personal identity and self-worth that are exhibited by thousands of former residential school victims across Canada.
A recent report by the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation that looked into the causes of a recent epidemic of teenaged suicides in isolated aboriginal communities in Northern Ontario concluded that the “residential school annihilated a generation of parents.”
“Residential school systematically destroyed the way in which the young generation learned from their parents and extended family,” the report said. “By removing children from their parents at a very early age and forcing them into an entirely new language, culture and way of life, critical bonds were severed and sometimes destroyed.
“Children returned to their homes having forgotten their language, survival skills, legends and values. New Values and Christian teachings had been imposed upon them.
“Many suffered abuses of all kinds and they were [psychologically] stripped of their pride, joy and self-esteem. Many of these children grew up and spent their formative years institutionalized. They, consequently, took their pain underground and thus began a long history of suppressing the hurts …
“To the residential-school generation was born the new generation of youth. This younger generation have inherited the dysfunction of parents and grandparents. They struggle with the meaning of life and some have been lost to suicide.”
Mr. Caza said the Oblates publicly apologized in 1991 for the behaviour of some members of the order towards aboriginal peoples and want to continue working for aboriginal communities.
Rev. Douglas Crosby, president of the Oblate Conference of Canada, said in the apology that early missionaries brought European attitudes of superiority to the indigenous peoples of Canada and misunderstood the richness of their culture and spiritual beliefs.
He said the Oblates now deplore the sexual and physical abuse that occurred in some of their residential schools.
“The worst was probably the experience of young children being removed from their families at an early age,” he said. “To have to leave one’s family, one’s culture, one’s environment and to be forced to enter into a strange new world was a traumatic experience that has left deep scars in some former students. In the quest for education, the value of family as a place of comfort and a school of values was overlooked.”
“We recognize now that our way of exercising discipline was not part of the Indian people’s culture, and we are deeply sorry for having at times imposed a military-type regime, along with physical punishment and humiliations that are still deeply resented.
“There are also some incidents of sexual abuse, profound betrayals of trust and of the sacredness of the human person … We support an effective process of disclosure about the residential schools.
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Across Canada
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"What's it to you?": Canada Admits its Crime, Again
by Kevin D. Annett (picture below)
Oct 6, 2010
Thousands of children died in the (residential) schools and their families were not informed of the deaths or the burial sites.
- Murray Sinclair, chair, ”Truth and Reconciliation Commission” (TRC), to Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, September 29, 2010
The lingering remnant of my home-bred naivety and trust in authority – even a murderous one – did a leap for joy today when I read these words by Murray “Tonto” Sinclair. In my dreams, I suddenly envisaged the police raiding the offices of the Catholic and Anglican and United Church and hauling away records and fuming church officers, now that mass murder by these august bodies has been admitted.
But only for a moment.
My Dad once observed that studying a problem is a typically Canadian way to avoid doing anything about it. And we won the war against the Indians, after all. Winners don’t arrest themselves for their crimes: even when they finally are forced to look at all the dried blood on their hands. What they do is absolve themselves of everything and wash the blood away, just like Pontius Pilate did: with the help of their paid stooges among their victims.
It’s more than comical that a genocidal mortality first cited in The Ottawa Journal as early as November, 1907 is suddenly being “discovered” by the latest batch of overpaid federal Commissioners. Or that the same folks are pretending that their “discovery” will mean anything at all, when the churches and government responsible for the slaughter have already legally indemnified themselves for the crime.
I was nevertheless pleased by Sinclair’s words, because it’s good to be vindicated. All the late-night research and public protests and head-banging and unanswered media releases over nearly twenty years has done something. Old Joe Hendsbee, a blacklisted communist and soul brother, called it the “piss on them enough” factor: You piss on anyone long enough and they’ll have to respond.
In the spring of 1997, when I first released to the Canadian press my collection of testimonies and documents demonstrating the enormous residential schools death rate now “officially” recognized by the ones who did it, nobody in the media responded. I repeat: nobody.
This non-response continued down through the years, even after a United Nations affiliated Tribunal confirmed my evidence in 1998, and two books and a documentary film of mine elaborated in detail the facts of a church-sponsored Canadian genocide to the world.
As I describe in my latest book, Unrepentant: Disrobing the Emperor,
Without exception, the media meekly continued their policy of the previous five years. With canine curiosity, they had initially sniffed around the edges of what they perceived as an opportunity to improve circulation, but with the more recent sound of a commanding corporate voice, they contented themselves with lifting a collective hind leg over the residential schools issue, and then trotting off in pursuit of their normal coverage of worldwide oddities and community trivia. (p. 138)
My favorite example of media indifference (read censorship) happened in October, 1998, when I gathered five survivors of sexual sterilization programs at the Nanaimo Indian Hospital who all wanted to tell their story to the press. A national Globe and Mail reporter in Vancouver hemmed and hawed when I called him up with the news, and he finally asked if I could transport the five of them to his office, rather than him go to them. Then he added quickly,
“On the other hand, don’t bother. No-one would believe this stuff anyway.”
Almost as hilarious was the reaction of a CBC TV reporter at our first Aboriginal Holocaust Day rally in April, 2005, who challenged me by declaring,
“But what proof do you have that children were actually murdered in residential schools?”
I turned and pointed to Harriett Nahanee, an aging woman who had seen teenager Maisie Shaw kicked to her death by United Church minister Alfred Caldwell at the Alberni residential school, and I said to the reporter,
“Talk to Harriett. She’s an eyewitness to a killing.”
The CBC woman turned pale, frowned, and actually hurried off in the opposite direction.
But that’s all behind us now, so it seems. It’s in vogue to talk about dead Indian kids in Canada – at least, from a distance, and without, perish the thought, any talk of who is responsible or bringing them to trial.
My friend Peter Yellow Quill of the Long Plains tribe in Manitoba said it best, at a protest we held against the TRC last June in Winnipeg.
“Imagine somebody steals your car. Then he knocks on your door and apologizes for doing it; but then he drives away again in the stolen car. That’s what Canadians like to call Healing and Reconciliation towards Indians: lots of nice words and apologies are said, but nothing ever changes.”
Being under our boot his entire life, Peter Yellow Quill is a total realist, and bears the truth that isn't fit to print. But I have been accused of being a cynic.
So let’s give ourselves the benefit of the doubt, as we are so good at doing. Let’s imagine, for a moment, that all the lawyers and confidentiality agreements suddenly die, and church and state become willing to tell the whole truth, put themselves in the dock, and actually do justice according to the victims, rather than themselves. What would we see?
We’d witness precisely what would happen if 50,000 and more white children had have been done to death in aboriginal-run “Caucasian residential schools”:
A massive criminal investigation. Arrests of church and government officers, and their prosecution. The canceling of tax exemptions to churches that killed children. Public memorial sites and museums. History books that reflected the real history. And a nation-wide repatriation program that would finally give all the murdered children a proper burial.
That’s what would satisfy a white traitor like me. But it’s still only my view. To Peter Yellow Quill, and Harry Wilson, who is dying on the streets of Vancouver, nothing short of the return of everything that was stolen from them will suffice: starting with the land itself.
Of course, the world doesn’t listen to Indians like Peter and Harry: only to the bought and paid for ones, like Murray Sinclair of the TRC. Which is why we’ll continue to hear a lot about healing and reconciliation - and why 50,000 little corpses will vanish.
Would you have it any other way?
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Three former residential schools, dozens of graves
Troy Thomas
Thursday, October 30, 2008
http://tscribbles.blogspot.com/2008/10/three-former-residential-schools-dozens.html
Dr. Dawg points out the story currently in The Globe and Mail
The federal government is mapping burial sites at former residential schools as researchers try to identify how many of the estimated thousands of native children who went missing from the schools are buried in unmarked or anonymous graves.
The following quote is something I often see. I really wish people would stop using this sort of excuse for the residential schools.
Partnering with churches that were already established throughout Canada as part of their missionary work, Ottawa built the residential schools and paid churches on a per capita basis to take in native children and teach them a mix of agricultural skills and traditional schooling.
That's complete bull.
In 1920 (Duncan Campbell) Scott said, "I want to get rid of the Indian problem. Our object is to continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed. They are a weird and waning race...ready to break out at any moment in savage dances; in wild and desperate orgies."
He was merely the Deputy Superintendent General of Indian Affairs for nineteen years. It's also a bit chilling to read these words of Scott's: "It is readily acknowledged that Indian children lose their natural resistance to illness by habituating so closely in the residential schools and that they die at a much higher rate than in their villages. But this does not justify a change in the policy of this Department which is geared towards a final solution of our Indian Problem. "Final solution. Anyway, here's more from the Globe article:
- Wabasca Residential School: The IRSC report quotes a 1961 letter from an unidentified school principal who describes a cemetery with unmarked graves that is "a terrible mess." A letter written three weeks later states that the cemetery has been cleaned up and 110 white crosses erected. The school is no longer standing, but the current Anglican minister in Wabasca says the cemetery is well cared for and he had not heard of any historical problems regarding maintenance.
- Edmonton Industrial School: The IRSRC report states that boys at the school were paid to dig graves at the area cemetery. A committee of historians wrote a letter to the Northwest Territories government in 1989 requesting funding for a memorial to recognize the 98 Inuit and Indian people lying in a small cemetery on the grounds of what was the residential school. Advocates for a monument wrote letters to government and church leaders stating that the cemetery grounds had not been cared for since the school closed.- Muskowekwan Indian Residential School: An Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada (IRSRC) report reviewing Indian Affairs documents describes an incident in 1992, when a construction company uncovered at least 19 graves connected to an unmarked graveyard at the site of the former school. Muskowekwan Indian Residential School is still standing and is on land managed by the Muskowekwan First Nation band council. It is now home to a youth services centre.
That's an estimated 237 graves from three schools. And there were hundreds of these damned institutions in both Canada and the USA.
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Canada to examine disappeared children at residential schools
Bill Curry and Joe Friesen
October 27, 2008
Globe and Mail
Schools commission to examine ‘disappearances of children’
OTTAWA and TORONTO — The commission examining Indian residential schools is launching a massive new research project to find out who is buried on school grounds and what happened to the young aboriginal boys and girls who left for boarding schools and never returned home.
Kimberly Phillips, a spokesperson for Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, said the expanded research has been approved by Claudette Dumont-Smith, one of the commissioners.
The “Missing Children Research Project,” as it has been named, will include “an examination of the number and cause of deaths, illnesses and disappearances of children at the residential schools as well as the location of burial sites,” Ms. Phillips said.
Ms. Phillips said researchers will go through all relevant church and federal government records to find information that will help families looking for lost children. They will also prepare a questionnaire, and encourage former students and people who worked at the schools to come forward with their stories.According to a commission document obtained by The Globe and Mail, one option involves “visiting residential school sites where graves of Missing Children are located or the cemeteries near the schools where Missing Children have been buried.”
Tuberculosis was the most common reason cited for deaths at schools across the country, however, survivors have said that rumours have circulated over the years that some of the forgotten children died of neglect, abuse or even murder.
The project is viewed internally as highly daunting, given the sheer volume of material available and number of former students willing to talk. It will build on preliminary research that The Globe reported on Monday.
That research confirmed that several residential schools had graveyards on site, that children at some schools were tasked with digging graves, and that some of those cemeteries were unmarked or had only anonymous white crosses.
AFN national chief Phil Fontaine said through his lawyer yesterday that the documents featured in The Globe underscore the need for a commission to continue gathering the complete history of residential schools.
“This is the very kind of issue that needs to be raised,” John Phillips said. “It’s the reason the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was created.”
That view was echoed by Mike Cachagee, who says he buried the first of four classmates when he was eight years old at Saint John’s Indian Residential School in Chapleau, Ont., and then at Moose Factory Indian Residential School in Moose Factory, Ont.
He said he was told the children died of tuberculosis.
Mr. Cachagee, who chairs the National Residential School Survivors’ Society, said former students want these graves identified so they can better understand their family histories.
“We can’t just have our people planted in the ground and forgotten about,” he said. “That’s basically what they did.”
The missing children project has been given the green light as a key meeting is scheduled for Wednesday in Toronto to sort out the controversy over the surprise resignation of commission chairman Mr. Justice Harry LaForme and to map a way forward.
Mr. Phillips will represent the AFN, and lawyers for the federal government, churches and former students will also attend.
There are many differences of opinion heading into the meeting. The federal government wants a legal clarification of the role and powers of the three commissioners. In his resignation letter, Judge LaForme had said there was disagreement over whether the chairman can overrule the two commissioners or whether the three individuals must operate on consensus or majority rule. Judge LaForme has also claimed that the two other commissioners disagreed with his view that reconciliation should take precedence over digging up truth from the past.
A source close to the process said one of the principal questions to be addressed is whether commissioners Jane Brewin Morley and Ms. Dumont-Smith should be replaced, in light of Justice LaForme’s acrimonious departure.
“You’d have to be crazy to step into the remnants of such a dysfunctional situation,” the source said.
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Did the Illuminati Exterminate Canadian Indian Children?
April 23, 2008
by Henry Makow Ph.D.
http://www.henrymakow.com/did_the_illuminati_exterminate.html
Some of the most resolute do-gooders in the world are Christian Canadians. But while they condemn Ernst Zundel for "holocaust denial," they may have some skeletons of their own buried near former church-run residential schools.
For 15 years, a defrocked United Church Minister , Kevin Annett, 51, has led an heroic crusade to make the church admit that as many as 50,000 Indian children may have been murdered in residential schools and hospitals funded by the Canadian government and run by the United, Anglican and Catholic Churches. Two weeks ago his organization released a list of 28 mass graves near residential schools. For example:" Port Alberni: Presbyterian-United Church school (1895-1973), now occupied by the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Tribal Council (NTC) office, Kitskuksis Road . Grave site is a series of sinkhole rows in hills 100 metres due west of the NTC building, in thick foliage, past an unused water pipeline. Children also interred at Tseshaht reserve cemetery, and in wooded gully east of Catholic cemetery on River Road.
"This press release got no coverage in the mainstream media. Annett says the 28 mass graves represent the "tip of the iceberg." There were 120 residential schools at the peak in the 1940's.
Arnett's website claims that government records place the annual death rate of children at residential schools between 1907 and 1959 at 50 per cent. This combined with the sterilization of thousands of native women sounds like an organized policy of genocide to me.
The Churches have told the public that these crimes were isolated instances of physical and sexual abuse. In 2005, the Canadian government promised almost $2 billion to tens of thousands of "survivors" but refused to issue an apology. In spite of this, many of the worst victims, now homeless and suffering from mental and physical disabilities, are being denied benefits for "lack of proof." The truth may be far more serious, so horrific indeed as to defy belief. The Church was active in defrauding Indian bands of their lands. Children were deliberately murdered, often exposed to deadly diseases. But most telling of all, pedophile rings preyed on some children while others were subjected to medical experiments by German-speaking doctors.
A "Gail Cooper" was the only survivor of 25 natives and orphan children used for medical experiments at the Lincoln Park air force base in Calgary in 1956-58. They were being traumatized for mind control purposes. They were being supervised by a "Capt. Bob Armstrong" who had an SS tattoo, and who Gail Cooper later identified as Josef Mengele.
This and the fact that Annett has met with near-unanimous rejection from every branch of the Canadian establishment, including the Church, academia, government and the media, suggests that he may have stepped on Illuminati toes.
Annett describes his persecution in his must-see documentary "Unrepentant: Kevin Annett and Canadian Genocide." He was repeatedly threatened with expulsion from the church if he didn't drop the investigation. His wife was subverted and divorced him taking their two children. After being removed from the church, he was kicked out of a Ph.D. program at the University of British Columbia and told he would never work in academia. He was harassed and beaten by the Vancouver police.
Apart from the necessity for the Churches and Canadian government to apologize and atone for their crimes, Annett's story illustrates how most of our institutions are infiltrated and run by racists, satanists, perverts and criminals, often masquerading as devout and God-fearing Christians. If these claims of genocide are true, they do not bode well for us re. other Illuminati depopulation programs, including feminism, "gay rights," abortion, vaccines, famines, plagues and war.
Annett believes that the Church is part of the engine of elite control and oppression and he advocates a boycott of the Canadian churches named, and Canada in general, until these questions have been resolved.
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Witness to murder at Indian Residential School
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Residential School Genocide: Why "Apology" Isn't Enough
Rev. Kevin Annett
May 22, 2008
http://www.henrymakow.com/residential_schools_atrocity_w.html
(This article was submitted to 10 Canadian newspapers. Not one published or even acknowledged receiving it.)
Rend your hearts, and not your garments - Joel 2:17
Imagine for a moment that your own child goes missing and never comes home. Years pass, and one day, the person responsible for your child's death is identified, but he evades arrest and imprisonment simply by issuing to you an "apology" for your loss. He even speaks of seeking "reconciliation" with you.
How would you feel?
Hold on to that feeling, and now multiply your loss by many thousands of children, and make the guilty person the government and churches of Canada. Do so, and you will have arrived in a human way at the Indian Residential Schools atrocity.
One of my former parishioners put it another way:"What we did to those native children was an abomination, and abominations aren't resolved with words and money. We need to have our hearts torn in two and be changed. We've got to stand, ourselves, under the judgment of God."
I doubt that Stephen Harper would be satisfied with an apology if his own kids were hauled off and killed for being practicing Christians. Yet on June 11, he will stand up on our behalf and try to apologize to other nations for having exterminated their children.
The whole effort seems more than ludicrous, or obscene. One cannot, after all, apologize to the dead. But the truth is, the government's planned "apology" to native people is an enormous exercise in deception - primarily self-deception.
Do we even know the meaning of that easily uttered term, "apologize"?
It actually has a double meaning, according to the internet Dictionary: a) "an acknowledgment of regret for a fault or offense" and b) "a formal justification, defense or excuse for one's actions".
That is, in our vernacular understanding of the term, an "apology" can be a genuine regret for one's acts; but it can equally be a way to evade responsibility for one's acts, by justifying oneself before one's victim.
The legal understanding of the word, however, is more specific, and has nothing to do with regret: "apology" is defined simply as "a disclaimer of intentional error or offense".
A disclaimer.
Now, I'm assuming that the government of Canada relies on legal definitions - operating, as it claims, "under the rule of law" - rather than popularly understood ones. So we must realize that when the government and its Prime Minister uses the term "apology", its understanding of the word is the legal one: namely, "a disclaimer of intentional error or offense".
In other words, on June 11, Stephen Harper will issue to the world a disclaimer to the effect that the Indian Residential Schools were not an intentional offense. It's not surprising that the Prime Minister will be making such an outrageous and unsupportable claim, since if he ever admitted that the residential schools were intentional, he'd be the first defendant in the dock at an international war crimes trial. But more important, this effort by our government - and the churches it is protecting - to be absolved of their own crimes is taking place under the illusory pretense of making amends with native people, when its purpose is simply to legally exonerate itself of culpability for the deaths of thousands of children.
This, indeed, has been the norm for both church and state ever since the first lawsuit was launched by residential school survivors in February of 1996. An army of court scholars and legal experts has generated a mountain of "holocaust denial" at every level of Canadian society during the past dozen years, to convince the world that the daily death and torture at the residential schools was not intentional at all.
Such an "apologetic" agenda defies logic and common sense, as in the statements from the government's "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" scholars that, while evidence shows that residential school children were being buried "four or five to a grave", and that the death rate in these schools stayed constant at fifty percent for over forty years, these deaths were "not intended".
To believe that, one has to ignore the evidence of senior government officials like Dr. Peter Bryce, who found that children were regularly being "deliberately exposed to communicable diseases" in residential schools, and left to die untreated. The word Bryce used was "deliberately". How else, after all, do so many children die?
All of this legal hoop jumping and evasion of responsibility might make sense to the government, and pay the salaries of their intellectual mercenaries, but it does nothing to advance the cause of truth telling and humanity in Canada, and makes the lives of our victims ever more difficult.
I know this all too well, having spent most of my waking hours for years as a counsellor, advocate and chronicler for many aboriginal survivors of the death camps we like to call residential schools. And what I've learned from such work is that we cannot come to grips with something that we don't understand.
The truth is, Euro-Canadian society still doesn't understand what these "schools" were, either at a "head" or a "heart" level. If one believes the officers of the churches and government, the residential schools "issue" is all about money and verbal gymnastics. Yet none of these officials, as far as I know, have broken down and wept in public over the deaths of so many innocent ones; nor have they even offered to return their remains to their families for a proper burial.
Oddly enough, the very same officials continually and glibly speak about "healing the past", without even knowing their own history, and about "solutions" to the "residential school problem", as if they understand what that problem is - not realizing that, to quote William Shakespeare, "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves."
For in truth, there is not now, nor has there ever been, an "Indian problem" in Canada. Rather, the problem is a "white" one. The problem is with us.
I won't point to collapsing eco-systems or troops in Afghanistan to prove this point. Nor need I pose the paradox of how educated men and women, with families of their own and a professed "Christian morality", could drive needles through infants' tongues at Indian residential schools, throw three year olds down stairs, sterilize healthy kids, and deliberately allow children to cough their lives away from tuberculosis, and then bury them in secret graves. The evidence of the problem is more immediate, and far closer to home, in our continued segregation of aboriginal people into a lower standard of humanity that allows them to die at a rate fifteen times greater than other people of this country.
After all, if we Canadians are who we imagine ourselves to be - an enlightened society that "assimilated" native people into our ranks, and made them our equals - then why has not a single person ever been brought to trial for the death of a residential school child? Why is the disappearance of tens of thousands of native children in these schools not the subject of a major criminal investigation? And why is there an Indian Act, and not an Irish or an Italian Act?
Being, in reality, an unofficially apartheid society that operates, in practice, with two standards of justice - one for native people, and one for the rest of us - Canada can no more cure the legacy of the residential schools than it can stop chewing up the earth for short-term comfort and profit. At least, not this side of a fundamental moral and social revolution.
The fact that we are far from such a change struck home to me a few months ago when the the government announced that, although criminal acts did indeed occur in the residential schools, there would be no criminal investigation of these schools: an unbelievably brazen subversion of justice that evoked not a peep of protest in the media or among the good citizens and politicians of Canada.
Regardless of this, there are things that can be done to overcome the genocidal residential schools legacy, and do justice, for once, to the survivors. Rather than issuing verbal and self-serving "apologies" which change nothing, the government and all of us could take these kind of bold measures:
1. Declare an Official Nation-wide Day of Mourning for Residential School Victims, dead and living.
2. Fully disclose what happened in the residential schools - the crimes, the perpetrators, and the cover-up - by launching an International War Crimes Tribunal with the power to subpoena, arrest and prosecute those responsible.
3. Bring home the remains of all children who died in these schools for a proper burial, and establish public memorial sites for them.
4. Create a National Aboriginal Holocaust Museum.
5. End federal tax exemption for the Catholic, Anglican and United Church of Canada, in accordance with the Nuremburg Legal Principles concerning organizations complicit in crimes against humanity.
6. Abolish the Indian Act and Indian and Northern Affairs.
An Irish relative once told me that the way her country is evolving away from eight centuries of warfare is through a simple formula:"First you remember; then you grieve; then you heal".
Instead of skipping the first two steps, as Mr. Harper and too many of our people are trying to do "apologetically", it is time that Canadians found the courage to truly remember and admit to the world what we did to the first peoples of this land, and grieve our actions in the manner of people who truly rend their own hearts and want to change.
Perhaps then "healing and reconciliation" can become something more than an overworked political catch-phrase.
Rev. Kevin D. Annett
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A timeline of residential schools
Monday, October 20, 2008
CBC News
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/05/16/f-timeline-residential-schools.html
Oct. 20, 2008: Justice Harry LaForme resigns as chairman of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In a letter to Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl, LaForme says the commission is on the verge of paralysis because the panel's two commissioners, Claudette Dumont-Smith and Jane Brewin Morley, do not accept his authority and leadership.
April 28, 2008: Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl announces that Justice Harry LaForme, a member of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation in southern Ontario, will chair the commission that Ottawa promised as part of the settlement with former students of residential schools. At the ceremony, LaForme paid homage to the 90,000 living survivors of residential schools. "Your pain, your courage, your perseverance, and your profound commitment to truth made this commission a reality," he said. LaForme, 61, is a former Ontario Indian commissioner and former chair of a federal commission on aboriginal land claims. On May 13, 2008, two additional commissioners are added to the commission. Claudette Dumont-Smith is a health professional whose work has focused largely on the Aboriginal population, and Jane Brewin Morley is a lawyer and also one of the adjudicators on a panel responsible for examining claims of sexual or serious physical abuse at residential schools. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission begins its work on June 1, 2008.
Sept. 19, 2007: A landmark compensation deal for an estimated 80,000 former residential school students comes into effect, ending what Assembly of First Nations Chief Phil Fontaine called a 150-year "journey of tears, hardship and pain - but also of tremendous struggle and accomplishment." The federal government-approved agreement will provide nearly $2 billion to the former students who had attended 130 schools. Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl said he hoped the money would "close this sad chapter of history in Canada."
Dec. 21, 2006: The $2-billion compensation package for aboriginal people who were forced to attend residential schools is approved by the Nunavut Court of Justice, the eighth of nine courts that must give it the nod before it goes ahead. A court in the Northwest Territories is expected to release its decision in January 2007. However, the class-action deal - one of the most complicated in Canadian history - was effectively settled by Dec. 15, 2006, when documents were released that said the deal had been approved by seven courts: in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and the Yukon. The average payout is expected to be in the vicinity of $25,000. Those who suffered physical or sexual abuse may be entitled to settlements up to $275,000.
Nov. 23, 2005: Ottawa announces a $2-billion compensation package for aboriginal people who were forced to attend residential schools. Details of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement include an initial payout for each person who attended a residential school of $10,000, plus $3,000 per year. Approximately 86,000 people are eligible for compensation.
Oct. 21, 2005: The Supreme Court of Canada rules that the federal government cannot be held fully liable for damages suffered by students abused at a church-run school on Vancouver Island. The United Church carried out most of the day-to-day operations at Port Alberni Indian Residential School, where six aboriginal students claimed they were abused by a dormitory supervisor from the 1940s to the 1960s. The court ruled the church was responsible for 24 per cent of the liability.
May 30, 2005: The federal government appoints the Honourable Frank Iacobucci as the government's representative to lead discussions toward a fair and lasting resolution of the legacy of Indian residential schools.
March 11, 2003: Ralph Goodale, minister responsible for Indian residential schools resolution, and leaders of the Anglican Church from across Canada ratify an agreement to compensate victims with valid claims of sexual and physical abuse at Anglican-run residential schools. Together they agree the Canadian government will pay 70 per cent of the compensation and the Anglican Church of Canada will pay 30 per cent, to a maximum of $25 million.
Dec. 12, 2002: Presbyterian Church settles Indian residential schools compensation. It is the second of four churches involved in running Indian residential schools that has initialed an agreement-in-principle with the federal government to share compensation for former students claiming sexual and physical abuse.
2001: Canadian government begins negotiations with the Anglican, Catholic, United and Presbyterian churches to design a compensation plan. By October, the government agrees to pay 70 per cent of settlement to former students with validated claims. By December, the Anglican Diocese of Cariboo in British Columbia declares bankruptcy, saying it can no longer pay claims related to residential school lawsuits.
Jan. 7, 1998: The government unveils Gathering Strength - Canada's Aboriginal Action Plan, a long-term, broad-based policy approach in response to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. It includes the Statement of Reconciliation: Learning from the Past, in which the Government of Canada recognizes and apologizes to those who experienced physical and sexual abuse at Indian residential schools and acknowledges its role in the development and administration of residential schools. St. Michael's Indian Residential Schools, the last band-run school, closes. The United Church's General Council Executive offers a second apology to the First Nations peoples of Canada for the abuse incurred at residential schools. The litigation list naming the Government of Canada and major Church denominations grows to 7,500.
1997: Phil Fontaine is elected national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, a political organization representing Canada's aboriginal people.
November 1996: The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, or RCAP, issues its final report. One entire chapter is dedicated to residential schools. The 4,000-page document makes 440 recommendations calling for changes in the relationship between aboriginals, non-aboriginals and governments in Canada.
The Gordon Residential School, the last federally run facility closes in Saskatchewan.
1994: The Presbyterian Church offers a confession to Canada's First Nations people.
1993: The Anglican Church offers an apology to Canada's First Nations people.
1991: The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate offer an apology to Canada's First Nations people.
1990: Phil Fontaine, leader of the Association of Manitoba Chiefs, meets with representatives of the Catholic Church. He demands that the church acknowledge the physical and sexual abuse suffered by students at residential schools.
1989: Non-aboriginal orphans at Mount Cashel Orphanage in Newfoundland make allegations of sexual abuse by Christian Brothers at the school. The case paves the way for litigation for residential school victims.
1986: The United Church of Canada formally apologizes to Canada's First Nations people.
1979: Only 15 residential schools are still operating in Canada. The Department of Indian Affairs evaluates the schools and creates a series of initiatives. Among them is a plan to make the school administration more culturally aware of the needs of aboriginal students.
1975: A provincial Task Force on the Educational Needs of Native Peoples hears recommendations from native representatives to increase language and cultural programs and improve funding for native control of education. Also, a Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development publication reports that 174 federal and 34 provincial schools offer language programs in 23 native languages.
1974: The aboriginal education system sees an increase in the number of native employees in the school system. Over 34 per cent of staff have Indian status. This is after the government gives control of the Indian education program to band councils and Indian education committees. 1860: Indian Affairs is transferred from the Imperial Government to the Province of Canada. This is after the Imperial Government shifts its policy from fostering the autonomy of native populations through industry to assimilating them through education.
1847: Egerton Ryerson produces a study of native education at the request of the assistant superintendent general of Indian affairs. His findings become the model for future Indian residential schools. Ryerson recommends that domestic education and religious instruction is the best model for the Indian population. The recommended focus is on agricultural training; and government funding will be awarded through inspections and reports.
1820s: Early church schools are run by Protestants, Catholics, Anglicans and Methodists.
1620-1680: Boarding schools are established for Indian youth by the Récollets, a French order in New France, and later the Jesuits and the female order the Ursulines. This form of schooling lasts until the 1680s.
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Indian Residential Schools in Canada the painful legacy
Residential School--Honoring Our Parents (created by Niitsitapi07)
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Indian residential schools
Monday, October 20, 2008
CBC News
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/05/16/f-faqs-residential-schools.html
CBC News: Stolen Children
June 8-21, 2008
What is a residential school?
In the 19th century, the Canadian government believed it was responsible for educating and caring for the country's aboriginal people. It thought their best chance for success was to learn English and adopt Christianity and Canadian customs. Ideally, they would pass their adopted lifestyle on to their children, and native traditions would diminish, or be completely abolished in a few generations.
The Canadian government developed a policy called "aggressive assimilation" to be taught at church-run, government-funded industrial schools, later called residential schools. The government felt children were easier to mould than adults, and the concept of a boarding school was the best way to prepare them for life in mainstream society.
Residential schools were federally run, under the Department of Indian Affairs. Attendance was mandatory. Agents were employed by the government to ensure all native children attended.
How many residential schools and students were there?
Initially, about 1,100 students attended 69 schools across the country. In 1931, at the peak of the residential school system, there were about 80 schools operating in Canada. There were a total of about 130 schools in every territory and province except Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick from the earliest in the 19th century to the last, which closed in 1996. In all, about 150,000 aboriginal, Inuit and Métis children were removed from their communities and forced to attend the schools.
What went wrong?
Residential schools were established with the assumption that aboriginal culture was unable to adapt to a rapidly modernizing society. It was believed that native children could be successful if they assimilated into mainstream Canadian society by adopting Christianity and speaking English or French. Students were discouraged from speaking their first language or practising native traditions. If they were caught, they would experience severe punishment.
Throughout the years, students lived in substandard conditions and endured physical and emotional abuse. There are also many allegations of sexual abuse. Students at residential schools rarely had opportunities to see examples of normal family life. They were in school 10 months a year, away from their parents. All correspondence from the children was written in English, which many parents couldn't read. Brothers and sisters at the same school rarely saw each other, as all activities were segregated by gender.
When students returned to the reserve, they often found they didn't belong. They didn't have the skills to help their parents, and became ashamed of their native heritage. The skills taught at the schools were generally substandard; many found it hard to function in an urban setting. The aims of assimilation meant devastation for those who were subjected to years of mistreatment.
When did the calls for victim compensation begin?
In 1990, Phil Fontaine, then leader of the Association of Manitoba Chiefs, called for the churches involved to acknowledge the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse endured by students at the schools. In 1991 the government convened a Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Many people told the commission about their residential school experiences, and its 1996 report recommended a separate public inquiry into residential schools. That recommendation was never followed.
Over the years, the government worked with the Anglican, Catholic, United and Presbyterian churches, which ran residential schools, to design a plan to compensate the former students.
In 2005, the federal government announced a $2-billion compensation package for those who were forced to attend residential schools.
Under the federal compensation proposal, what will former students receive?
Details of a proposal include compensation, called the Common Experience Payments, for all residential schools students who were alive as of May 30, 2005. Former residential school students will get an initial payout of $10,000, plus $3,000 for each year they attended school. Acceptance of the Common Experience Payment would release the government and churches of all further liability relating to the Indian residential school experience, except in cases of sexual abuse and serious incidents of physical abuse. Under the proposal’s guidelines, about 86,000 are eligible for redress.
Is there anything for older aboriginal Canadians?
Former residential school students 65 years old and older can receive an advance payment of $8,000.
What will happen in those cases of alleged sexual or serious physical abuse?
An Independent Assessment Process, or IAP, is intended to address sexual abuse cases and serious incidents of physical abuse. A former student who accepts the Common Experience Payment can pursue a further claim for sexual or serious physical abuse.
Is there more to the proposal than compensating the victims?
The government will continue to fund a Commemoration initiative, which consists of events, projects and memorials on a national and community level. $10 million will be invested in an existing commemoration program. The Aboriginal Healing Foundation will receive an additional investment of $125 million.
The prime minister delivered an official apology in Parliament on June 11, 2008.
The proposed settlement also promised a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine the legacy of the residential schools. The commission was established on June 1, 2008.
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Algonquin and other Indigenous people take stand against ObamaThese water czars call themselves the “global guardians”
By Judi McLeod
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/8590
With polls indicating 86% Canadian popularity for President Barack Obama, Canada’s Indigenous People are not laying out the welcome mat for him.
In their own words, “Indigenous people like the Algonquins are bombarded with agents from every direction who are trying to confuse and subvert them.” (Mohawk News Network, Feb. 14, 2009).
Having have done their homework, they are not part of the Obama cult. According to them, tomorrow’s, one-day official visit to Canada by the 44th President of the USA is the “bucket brigade” coming to Ottawa and Obama, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”.
“Ripping off our water is another route of the “banksters” to bring in their New World Order. The multinationals know about the forthcoming water shortages because they’re stealing and polluting it. These water czars call themselves the “global guardians”. Part of their plan to control the world is by controlling the food supply through controlling the water supply. The United Nations calls water a human right. The fox wants to be in charge of the hen house in this “humanitarian crisis” of their making. “
It has not gone without their notice that included in the 20 environmental groups under the umbrella of Obama2Canada.org--formed as an Obama “stay the course on a clean energy future” support group--is Maude Barlow, “UN Senior Advisor on Water” and that Obama front man Rahm Emanuel is known as “The Godfather of Great Lakes Restoration”
“The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence watershed is part of Haudenosaunee Territory, which we will never surrender. The Nanfan Treaty of 1701 prohibits interference by colonists and foreigners on the eastern half of Turtle Island. If they try to do this, they will be committing another violation of the Two Row Wampum Agreement with our people. They know very well we never gave the colonists any rights over our land and resources. As the caretakers and trustees, we have the duty to protect the largest surface fresh water in the world. We Indigenous people are in their way but we are not going away.”
Just as the Algonquin Nation and others were part of a people who courageously fought the White Man over land more than a century ago, they are now taking a stand against the global grab for Canadian water.
“They’re after our resources. You can bet on it!” Mohawk Network News warns.
“Senator (Ken) Salazar of Colorado controls the tap. He lives near Canadian billionaire Maurice “Meathead” Strong who “owns” all that land on top of the largest aquifer in the USA. Strong is high up in the UN food chain. The resource grab will be “legalized” by setting up a UN army to enforce their attempted domination over us and our water.”
Many Indigenous communities, which no longer have access to clean water, have studied the water diversion plan.
The “Grand Canal” scheme is supposed to divert what they call “wasted” water that flows into James Bay. The Grand Canal would pass through Algonquin territory in the Canadian Shield of northern Quebec and Ontario.
Ironically, the Chicago diversion was built after the cholera epidemic which killed over 90,000 people in the 1800s. It resulted from raw sewage being dumped into the lake at Chicago. The river was diverted to cary it away to the Mississippi River. Because of Chicago’s growing population, there is always pressure to increase this diversion out of the Great Lakes.
Orchestrated like the sudden death of capitalism, the coming water shortage is not imaginary. Experts, who predict that the water crisis is getting worse, say that by the year 2025, the world will be suffering the dramatic effects of hydrological poverty; that there will be great disputes--even wars--over water.
Only the power mad would dream of finding a high in giving a few drops of water to the masses.
“For us, we should resume growing corn, beans and squash, the sustainers of our ancestors,” says Mohawk News Network. “We need to stay closer to home and family to care for the earth and protect our communities from these water world vultures. These zany visitors from Europe and their passengers just can’t stop themselves from creating one calamity after another over here.
“Hey, Barack, Stephen (Harper), Ken, (Secretary of Interior and Bureau of Indian Affairs Salazar) Maurice (Strong), Tom (Kierans of Grand Canal fame), Louis (Power Corp. Desmarais) and Maude (Barlow), why don’t you stand on the street corner with your empty pails? We might put in a few drops of water to quench your thirst. But that’s all!”
Meanwhile the mainstream media may be confused and duped by global politics, but the Mohawk News Network, who have pegged Obama as a puppet of the global elite, get it. (See full Mohawk News Network report and notes).

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Fifty Thousand Native Indians Killed with Vatican Approval
Pope Caught Red Handed With Written Cover-up
Vatican Apology not good enough, says Canadian minister and educator

By Greg Szymanski, JD
May 8, 2009
http://www.arcticbeacon.com/greg/?p=1150
The heat is on Pope Benedict XVI, at least in Canada, over the Parliament’s admission thousands of native children were killed at the hands of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church.
Stories have been conveniently hushed up in the U.S. about how the Vatican established and ran most of the Indian residential schools where the killings took place.
But according to minister and activist, Kevin Annett, to make things worse “Pope Joe Ratzinger himself is personally implicated in the whole mess, since in writing he ordered Bishops and priests to suppress evidence of the violence done against not only native children, but any victim of priestly sexual assault, on pain of excommunication.”
Annett points out:
“Covering up a crime is itself a crime, under any law, and Joe knows it. And so does the Oregon circuit court judge who ruled recently that survivors of any assault by a Catholic priest could sue the Vatican itself for damages.”
Annett is a community minister and educator in Vancouver, Canada who works with aboriginal survivors of Christian residential schools.
He is the author of two books on genocide in Canada, and is the co-producer of the award-winning documentary film on Canadian Indian residential schools, UNREPENTANT.
Here is what Annett said about the April half-hearted apology from Pope Joe:
“Between 1890 and 1996, over 50,000 aboriginal children died in the Indian residential schools across Canada mostly because of the Roman Catholic church, which established and ran over two-thirds of these “schools”. Many of these children died from beatings, tortures, being deliberately exposed to deadly diseases and not helped, and other deliberate homicidal actions.
“Not one person has ever been brought to trial for the death of any of these children, and the Catholic church refuses to say where these children are buried or how they died.
“This week, the Pope, Joseph Ratzinger, will be issuing a so-called “apology” for the harm caused in these Indian residential schools. We do not accept his apology, for genocide and mass murder cannot be apologized for, or made better with words.”
Annett will be appearing on my radio show, The Investigative Journal, Monday at 9am central time on www.libertyradiolive.com.
Here is an article Annett wrote last month about the cover-up and whole bloody Vatican mess going on in Canada:
“You are from your father, the Devil. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he acts according to his nature, for he is a liar and the Father of lies.”Jesus, quoted in John 8:44
“Look boys, if we’re going to worship a poor, humble man, we’re going to need a rich, hierarchical institution to do it with!”Monty Python’s “Vice Pope Eric”
The lie playing itself out this week in Rome is hardly new, or surprising. By the standards of the Vatican, it is actually a relatively obvious untruth. But for Pope Joseph Ratzinger to pose as someone who is sorry for what his church did to aboriginal people in Canada is about as sincere as the proclamations of his cash-strapped papal predecessors who ruled that it was a sin to believe that Jesus was a poor man - or, that one could buy one’s way into salvation with enough payouts to the church.
Expediency should never be confused with the truth
Like a little boy caught with a rock in his hand, Pope Joseph is in serious trouble, now that Canada has had to admit that thousands of native kids died at the hands of the Catholic church, which established and ran most of the Indian residential schools. But to make things worse, Joe himself is personally implicated in the whole mess, since in writing he ordered Bishops and priests to suppress evidence of the violence done against not only native children, but any victim of priestly sexual assault, on pain of excommunication.
Covering up a crime is itself a crime, under any law, and Joe knows it. And so does the Oregon circuit court judge who ruled recently that survivors of any assault by a Catholic priest could sue the Vatican itself for damages.
International human rights lawyers have tried serving papers on Pope Joe a few times, and extraditing him into American courts because of his complicity in the silencing of church victims while he was a cardinal. But the Canadian residential school crimes are a lot more serious, now that mass graves have been identified. The Vatican has to quickly quell the threat of a War Crimes Tribunal summoning Pope Joe to answer questions, relying on the standard legal panacea known as “the apology”.
Let’s get clear about this word, and its corollary term so bandied about by guilty parties, “reconciliation” . Neither an apology nor a “reconciliation” has anything to do with being regretful or truly sorry, or with actually admitting that one has done something wrong. An “apologetic” means to defend and justify some act. Both words are about avoiding responsibility for a violent crime through a process of public and legal indemnification, whereby victims absolve the perpetrator and shield them from any consequences.
Put simply, if you’re wealthy enough, you can get away with any crime, with the right words. And the Catholic church, as the oldest, wealthiest, and most systematic murderer on the planet, is a master of constructing words, which is the one and only skill required by the Lie.
Backtrack in time to the high middle ages, when the Vatican launched its crusades against “Saracens and pagans” abroad, and dissident Christians at home. A legal system was needed to justify the church’s slaughter and conquest of all those Others, whether in the middle east or on distant continents. Papal lawyers came up with something called an Indulgence, a brilliant device which made it a virtue to loot, rape and murder, if these acts were done in the name of the church.
In 1095, Pope Urban II declared that Christian crusaders were absolved from any consequences for crimes they may commit in the upcoming war against Muslims, and indeed were spiritually elevated by waging such a war. The violence of the church became a virtue, under canon law.
By implication, those “unbelievers” damaged by the Crusaders had no basis to claim that wrong was done to them, since they were the cause of the war, and in fact the “unbelievers” had to make restitution to the church for having caused the violence done against them!
That act of restitution was termed a Reconciliation
During the Spanish Inquisition, for example, Catholics who had “lapsed” and become Lutherans were “reconciled through loss of property and compelled to endure prison terms”. In 1612, five citizens of Madrid were “subjected to reconciliation for Judaism and committed to the galleys as slaves”. And the same fate awaited American Indians. In 1690, the Bishop of Oaxaca in Mexico “discovered organized idolatry in eleven pueblos of Indians, and held an auto (inquisition) in which the culprits were reconciled and penanced, twenty of them being condemned to perpetual prison …”. (1)
To quote the medieval historian Henry Charles Lea,
“Reconciliation to the Church entailed confiscation and was usually accompanied with other penalties according to the record of the culprit and the readiness with which he confessed and recanted. There might be prison, public humiliation, scourging or the galleys.” (2)
This concept of blaming a victim for their suffering at the hands of the church, and of expecting any critic or opponent of the church to do penance on the latter’s terms, is based on a basic Biblical and Roman notion that the mighty are always right, and the conquered must make amends to the conqueror.
The core paradigm of European Christendom, and culture, is in fact the belief that mankind fell away from God in rebellion, and to win salvation must be reconquered by and “reconciled” to God (and, by implication, to the church) through penance and submission. The rebel thereby indemnifies the conqueror by acknowledging that the violence done by him was right and justified, freeing him from responsibility, and in effect stating to the world that there was no crime committed, except by the conquered rebel.
The Romans used this ritual re-submission of a conquered chieftain in their public religious ceremonies, prior to executing the chieftain by strangulation. And as the heir to the Roman Empire, the Catholic church incorporated this practice into its treatment of any enemy it conquered, including dissident Christians, aboriginal people or Muslims.
That practice, quite naturally, continues to the present day, albeit in a more secularized version. We have witnessed it played out in the residential schools drama in Canada, in which the church, Catholic and Protestant, has been publicly vindicated for any wrong doing by the re-submission of its victims, in this case the aboriginal survivors of the schools.
After undergoing public humiliation, through recounting their tortures and receiving an insultingly minimal “compensation” in return for their promised silence, native survivors have freed the perpetrators of any liability by declaring that the churches are in fact not guilty of any crime, through their waiving of any legal action against the churches.
The fact that every Canadian Prime Minister since 1968, save one, has been a Catholic, has certainly helped the Vatican force the re-submission and “reconciliation” of its aboriginal victims, and avoid responsibility for mass murder. As a fundamentalist Protestant, Prime Minister Steven Harper perhaps felt freer to name the crime of the Vatican by finally responding to the evidence of genocide and the cries of the survivors, and opening the whole residential school can of worms in April of 2007.
But the essential point is that Pope Joseph’s upcoming “apology” to residential school survivors is not an admission of wrongdoing on the part of the church, or even an expression of regret: a fact indicated by the manner in which native chiefs from Canada will be “received in audience” with the Pope, in exactly the same way that the Roman Emperor accepted the supplication of conquered chieftains at his palace - on his terms, and his alone. The chiefs will stand before the Emperor, again, to state that the latter is not guilty, and to seek readmission to the fold.
There is no other explanation to the fact that, as part of his “apology”, the Pope will not be forced to revoke Papal laws authorizing the genocidal conquest of native people, nor disclose the buried location of residential school children, nor surrender those responsible for their deaths.
If Joseph Ratzinger was actually “apologizing” in the sense that most of us understand the word, he would travel to the victims, not they to him, and beg their forgiveness. He would disclose the truth, open the secret archives, and give his victims a proper burial. And he would stop instructing his priests and Bishops to hide the evidence of violence still being done against children in the Catholic church.
The fact that Joseph Ratzinger will be doing none of these things this week, but rather issuing words that will protect his church and himself from any hint of wrongdoing and from any legal liability for the death of tens of thousands of little children, indicates exactly who is in charge of this latest spectacle.
The Father of Lies, indeed.
Some Modest Proposalsto Undo a Legacy of Religious Genocide in Canada
1. Annul the charitable tax-exempt status of the Roman Catholic church in Canada, and tax this church for all back payments owed to the people and indigenous nations of Canada for stolen lands, resources and lives.
2. End diplomatic recognition of the Vatican and expel the Papl Nuncio from Canada.
3. Issue a summons to Pope Joseph Ratzinger to appear before a War Crimes Tribunal convened on sovereign indigenous land, and answer charges of his complicity in crimes against humanity, specifically the deaths of more than 50,000 children in Indian Residential Schools across Canada.
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