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Saturday, 27 June 2015

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Residential Schools, and the Promotion of White Guilt in Canada

by Thomas Jones

Happy natives in Euro-residential schools
Happy natives in Euro-residential schools

Residential Schools

This topic comes up again and again in the Canadian media. It is now an official subject of the curriculum. The residential school system was set up by the Canadian government but run by either the Catholic Church or a number of Protestant ones. These schools were for the education of aboriginal children according to Western standards and, as the name 'residential' suggests, the children were to live at these schools. Children were often not allowed to speak their ancestral languages or take part in any religious or cultural activity that was not from the Western Christian tradition. As one can imagine this system is decried today for being a system of "cultural genocide", and apparently physical, mental and even sexual abuse took place as well. Child mortality has also becomes an issue as many contracted illnesses like tuberculosis. To what extent physical and sexual abuse took place and the percentage of children who were forcibly taken away from their parents (as opposed to having been sent with parental consent which did happen) is not fully known and probably won't be.

Australia has a similar issue with the so-called stolen generation. Though it may not be as well-known white children were also taken from their families in Australia and though there have been a few governmental apologies for the stolen white generations, nothing comparable to the public apology of former PM Kevin Rudd, who also created a "National Sorry Day" for whites to prostrate themselves in front of aborigines. As with Australia, in Canada the residential school system was put in place to deal with alcoholism, child abuse and other issues, which we are told only happen to "survivors":
It should be remembered that in many cases the schools were a response, however inadequate and, admittedly, in some cases abusive, to the serious social problems of alcoholism, violence, and a welfare mentality that were already destroying native people. To suggest that blame for native social problems today can be laid at the feet of the residential schools is to scapegoat them and avoid the real complexity of the problem. In areas which never saw a residential school, for example Labrador, the Arctic, and New Brunswick, social problems in native communities are just as severe today as in places where residential schools were active (Source: The Other Side of the Residential School Question, by J. Fraser Field).
The purpose of the schools was to help children, not only to take them away from potentially abusive situations, but to prepare them for life in the ever changing modern world. This did mean, however, that such education would be Western, but then again Western practices had proven far better at coping with rapid and intense change. Some were abused and many were forced to abandon their ancestral languages, but the fact is many students had a positive experience. Richard Wagamase writes that his mother was one such person, and after Harper's apology many media outlets received letters from people who had had positive experiences or who were simply trying to shed light on the fact that the schools were not monolithically horrid. The National Post has been brave enough to discuss this issue focusing on both positives and negatives. Whatever else one might think of Conrad Black at least he is willing to state that
  1. Europeans have a right to be here.
  2. as shameful as the government's actions have been in the past towards aboriginals, they were never about eradicating them.

Children in residential school
Learning basic skills; replaced by cultural Marxist indoctrination in our current schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Recently the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has come out with a massive report on residential schools and how to better help Amerindians in general. First of all I am sceptical of the title of this commission as its goal is pushing a political agenda. It does not care about truth and certainly about reconciliation. Judge Murray Sinclair, who is a leading member of this commission, stated that he believes it should be a crime to say anything positive about the residential schools or to deny that they weren't as terrible and evil as the media is promoting. He liked it to holocaust denial:
There are laws in place that say you actually can't deny the Holocaust. If there were laws in place that said you cannot deny the fact of residential schools and the abuse that occurred, that would certainly move this conversation into a better framework.
Sinclair wants to limit free speech and also objective inquiry by disallowing research that may come up with facts he would choose not to accept. This of course plays right into the hands of anti-whites and other leftists who are all about oppressive and odious laws which hinder free speech and historical inquiry.

The findings are freely available online and can be read in brief here, and in full here. The report included quotes from mayors, business leaders, elders, former PMs Paul Martin and Joe Clark, and others about the need for the TRC and its findings. In fairness the TRC does note that the residential schools were not terrible in every case. The TRC also notes that many teachers, maids, cooks and others who worked at these schools did their best to improve the lives of aboriginal children and insure their stay was positive. One also hears about how government agents like Peter Bryce actively tried to save lives and help aboriginal children. They also note that diseases were spread unintentionally and if anything the worst aspect of the residential schools is that not enough funds were allocated for them. However it is clear the primary goal of the TRC is to discuss the negative aspects of residential schools — even aspects which were apparent in all such schools like beatings and even sexual abuse.

Critical Analysis of the TRC Recommendations

There are many aspects of this commission which must be rejected. Many of these recommendations — such as #83 which calls the funding of "a strategy for Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists to undertake collaborative projects and produce works that contribute to the reconciliation process" — were created with no thought as to how much money it would cost to see them through. No doubt the money demanded by the TRC and other activists is meant for the benefit of a minority; but not the aboriginals. The minority that will really prosper are the lawyers, bureaucrats, activists and chiefs who are already far too overpaid. Free speech and patriotism are of no concern for these people. The following is a brief look at some of the more unnecessary recommendations.

A major issue for the commission is education. They call upon the government to provide more money to aboriginal education. Funny, I thought the government had committed genocide when it last tried to educate aboriginals? There are calls for "culturally appropriate curricula" but there are no explanations as to what that means. On pages 197-98 the commission talks specifically about the needs of Metis and Inuit to have education specific to their peoples. I wonder if the commission would allow such systems for Euro-Canadians.

#15 calls for an aboriginal languages commissioner. Canada has enough problems with two languages! The report notes that much money is spent on French in areas where French is rarely spoken and no doubt the same is true of English in Quebec. I am all for aboriginal peoples learning their languages, but it is not right for their many, small and disparate languages to be imposed in non-aboriginal areas as no doubt will occur if there is to be another language commissioner.

#22 calls for all health professionals to recognize "the value of Aboriginal healing practices and use them in the treatment of Aboriginal patients in collaboration with Aboriginal healers and Elders where requested by Aboriginal patients." If patients call for the use of traditional practices I suppose that is their business but we shouldn't force doctors, nurses, et al. to view them equally as modern Western medicine. "Healers" are not the same as doctors and nurses who are trained based upon scientifically proven methods.

#38 is dangerous as it calls for "the federal, provincial, territorial and Aboriginal governments to commit to eliminating the overrepresentation of Aboriginal youth in custody over the next decade." How is this going to be achieved? Are we simply going to let criminals walk free?

#41 calls for a commission to be set up to look into the issue of the c. 1,000 aboriginal women who have gone missing in the last 30 or so years but there is no need for a commission for missing aboriginal women as the problems are known and the government already does treat this issue seriously.

#52 i is worded ambiguously which could lead to problems in the future,
We call upon the Government of Canada, provincial and territorial governments, and the courts to adopt the following legal principles:
i. Aboriginal title claims are accepted once the Aboriginal claimant has established occupation over a particular territory at a particular point in time.
When in time does this claim need to have been made? Can someone living here and now make a claim based on some long dead ancestor who may or may not have been in a given area hundreds of years ago?

Ever Higher Spending on Aboriginals without Solutions

Government spending on Canada's Aboriginals since 1947
Ever Higher, 2013 study by the Fraser Institute

#53-56 simply calls for the creation of another bloated, overpaid bureaucracy to be called the "National Council for Reconciliation", with a mandate, among other things, "to monitor, evaluate, and report to Parliament and the people of Canada annually on reconciliation progress across all levels and sectors of Canadian society, including the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action." These recommendations also call for yet more "research and policy development, public education programs, and resources", as if the government has not already spent billions on such programs at both the federal and provincial level. According to a very detailed Fraser Institute study, Ever Higher Spending on Canada's Aboriginals Since 1947, by Mark Milke,
In real terms, department spending on Canada's Aboriginal peoples rose from $79 million annually in 1946/47 to almost $7.9 billion in 2011/12. Using census data and adjusting for population, Aboriginal/Indian Affairs spending increased from $922 per registered First Nation individual in 1949/50 to $9,056 in 2011/12. That constitutes an 882 percent rise in spending per First Nations person. (p. iii)
Other salient facts reported in this study are that in 2011-12 the amount of money spent on-reserve housing programs "equated to $479 per Aboriginal person on reserve", whereas spending "on housing programs for all Canadians amounted to $51 per person in that year."

On top of these expenditures (and I recommend readers take a look at the executive summary of this study by the Fraser Institute), the provincial governments in Canada, "combined, spent $75 per registered First Nations person in 1993/94, compared with $819 per person in 2011/12, an increase of 985 percent."

But as if these steady increases were not enough, and as if ever more bureaucratic initiatives were the solution to native failure, the Commission recommends (#54):
Progress on closing the gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in a number of health indicators such as: infant mortality, maternal health, suicide, mental health, addictions, life expectancy, birth rates, infant and child health issues, chronic diseases, illness and injury incidence, and the availability of appropriate health services.

Anti-White Agenda of the Recommendations

This council seems like the perfect creation for those who wish to push an anti-white agenda.

#57 uses the term "anti-racism" when describing how public servants should be taught on aboriginal issues. As we all know "anti-racism" is almost always used against whites. Perhaps I am being paranoid here but I have had far too much experience with those who claim to be about human rights and ending racism to simply take what is said at face value. But even if this national council is not anti-white it would still be an unnecessary drain on funds. Just another burdensome bureaucracy to be financed by all (non-aboriginal) Canadians for the purpose of filling the coffers of an already privileged liberal elite.

Children in residential school
Happy children

#58 is a clear step beyond the bounds of the commission as it calls for the Pope to issue an apology for the residential schools. The government of Canada could pressure the Papacy to issue an apology but it cannot make him do so. Though the Papacy has already issued an apology but it was done by the Benedict XVI. Why does Francis need to apologize if his predecessor has? Well, the TRC answers by saying that Benedict's apology was done privately and then the Vatican publicised Benedict's discussion; it wasn't public (p. 273). Moreover Pope Benedict made a public apology to Irish men and women who had suffered abuse in Catholic schools. Given that, it would seem that an apology for aboriginals would be fair, but again this is something the TRC will have to take up directly with the Vatican. Will Canada be blamed if the Pope has not made an apology by the time of the deadline next year?

Along the same vein #60 calls for religious bodies to respect aboriginal spirituality but what does this mean? If it simply means the faith an aboriginal person has for a given religion, then fine, but that is not what the commission means. They want Christians to accept aboriginal folk religions – which are not common among them, as most are Christian – and their respective dogmas. No religion can be forced to accept the dogma of another. Christians and other religious groups should not have to consent to the beliefs espoused in aboriginal faiths even if that would be somehow offensive. The commission, like their leftist backers, fail to realize that religious people believe in their faith and that religions are something to take seriously; they cannot be changed at a whim. On page 289, the commission states that, "In our view, no religious school receiving public funding should be allowed to teach one religion to the complete exclusion of all other religions." Then what is the point in religious schooling at all? No need for the TRC to worry, however, as this is also the view of the Supreme Court.

#62-65 call for more information on aboriginals to be taught to children in primary and secondary schools, but this seems unnecessary as these schools already go out of their way to teach children such topics. As someone who just recently came out of the public school system I can tell you a large amount of our time was spent studying aboriginal peoples. Canada was founded by Europeans and everything about this country is western, and yet our education system is all about promoting others who have had a very limited impact on the actual legal, political, and cultural landscape of the country. This includes the Amerindian and Inuit peoples. I am all for brief histories of these peoples to be given but there is a risk of spending far too much time on this topic when ones far more pertinent to Canadian history exist and are becoming more and more marginalised.

On page 362 the TRC notes that Aboriginal laws are not mentioned in Discover Canada, the official booklet given to perspective immigrants,
Discover Canada ignores Indigenous peoples as being a source of law for Canada, and says that Canada's tradition of an "ordered liberty" is due to England, and not at all to Canada's Aboriginal peoples, who welcomed the European explorers, helped them survive in this climate, guided them throughout the country, and entered into treaties with them to share their land with the newcomers from Europe.
The reason aboriginal law is not mentioned is because it has had no impact on Canadian law outside of aboriginal communities because they did not build this country! Helping explorers has nothing to do with the law and the fact that the TRC would even make such a connection is just bizarre.

#78 calls for the government to pay $10 million over seven years to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. Is such a high figure truly necessary?

#80 would make Canada adopt its own utterly pointless "national sorry day" in the guise of a "National Day for Truth and Reconciliation". This day would be just another way to promote anti-white racism and the falsehood that Canada was/is a horrid genocidal state.

#81 and 82 call for monuments to be erected to honour the "survivors" of residential schools. The former calls for a national monument in Ottawa and the latter for monuments in each provincial capital. Again, w see how this issue is being exaggerated. Why are monuments necessary? As tragic as many of experiences may have been the residential schools were not about terror or genocide. They were about education, perhaps an antiquated form but education nonetheless. These monuments seem to be more about increasing white self-hatred than anything else.

Accusing Eurocanadians of a Holocaust

Children in residential school

Before I go on I should mention that throughout this report the term "survivor" is used when referring to those who went through the residential school system. The only other time I have ever heard this term used when referring to human rights is the holocaust. As already mentioned, Sinclair wants to treat the residential school issue like the holocaust. The fact is nothing Canada has ever done could be considered genocide, but by calling students "survivors" the TRC is attempting to make comparisons to the holocaust and other genocides. Holocaust comparisons allow self-hating whites and others to compare Canada to Nazi Germany, which allows such people to denigrate our nation; what could be worse than being compared to the most hated regime in history? The commission didn't call the residential schools physical genocide but many of the commission's supporters truly believe it was.

In time – if these people are allowed to continue pushing their agenda – the residential schools will be called an actual genocide on par with Rwanda or Armenia. We will be meant to believe that the actions of educators, no matter how perverse, were on par with if not worse than what the Young Turks and Interahamwe did. Indeed on page 301 we read of how the "Canadian Museum for Human Rights" was criticised for not calling what has happened to aboriginal peoples since the arrival of Europeans, genocide. The museum president and chief executive officer response gives one the impression that genocide will soon be used (if it has not already):
In the Museum, we will examine the gross and systemic human rights violation of Indigenous peoples. This will include information about the efforts of the Aboriginal community, and others, to gain recognition of these violations as genocide — and we will use that word. We will look at the ways this recognition can occur when people combat denial and work to break the silence surrounding such horrific abuses.... We have chosen, at present, not to use the word "genocide" in the title for one of the exhibits about this experience, but will be using the term in the exhibit itself when describing community efforts for this recognition. Historical fact and emerging information will be presented to help visitors reach their own conclusions. While a museum does not have the power to make declarations of genocide, we can certainly encourage — through ongoing partnership with the Indigenous community itself — an honest examination of Canada's human rights history, in hopes that respect and reconciliation will prevail.
#24, 28, 86 and 92 call for health professionals, legal professionals, journalists and those in the corporate sector, respectively, to undergo additional education about aboriginals with emphasis on being taught about residential schools and the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples. This seems completely unnecessary and more about promoting an official dogma than about education as knowing about residential schools and UN declarations have nothing to do with medicine, the law, journalism or business, unless one wants to specialise in such areas.

Children in residential school
Learning basic hygiene in residential schools: What will leftists elites do for Aboriginals today other than pay themselves high salaries and inflict white guilt?

#92 at first may not appear so bad as its primary goal is to give aboriginal communities a say in whether industrial projects can be carried out on their land, but 92.ii calls for affirmative action programs, which just never work, while iii calls for yet more 'team-building exercises' on racism, human rights and thus the useless overseeing bodies that come with them. No doubt corporations — like churches, government and, of course, Euro-Canadians — will be guilt-tripped with tales of genocidal schools. Similarly #27 calls for law professionals to have "skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism".

Teaching Immigrants that Canada Belongs to Them, not Eurocanadians

#93 calls for immigrants to be taught about residential schools and treaties so that newcomers will be ensconced with anti-white and Canadian masochist attitudes even before they have officially become citizens. If ever one wanted evidence that aboriginal activists are making connections between themselves and other non-whites in order to defame us then look no further than the TRC. The TRC talked with immigrants (from 360-361) and it is clear that non-white immigrants and aboriginals are coming together to attack whites. Ali Kazimi says that Canada was formed as a white man's country and that this was wrong. Canada was formed as a white man's country because it was formed by whites! What is terrible about that? Winnie Ng tries to connect Chinese experiences with aboriginal ones and talks about CPR labour and exclusion acts; she forgets to mention that Chinese were a small percentage of workers and exclusion acts were done for legitimate reasons: protecting honest labour and Canada's European heritage. On page 359, they talked to Caroline Wong who apparently is an "intergenerational survivor of the Chinese Head Tax". First off this tax was meant to protect Canadians and second of all "intergenerational survivor"? Intergenerational survivor sounds like yet another form of newspeak invented by the grievance industry to use against whites. It is also used in reference to Danny Richmond, an "intergenerational" Holocaust survivor and Kevin Takahide Lee, an "intergenerational survivor" of Japanese internment.

Some of the recommendations are couched in aboriginal terms but are obviously more about the desire of white liberals and their associates than about aboriginals. Such points include #6, which calls for an end to section 43 of the criminal code (which allows parents to discipline their children; the so-called "spanking law"), #32 which calls for the abolition of minimum sentencing, and #84 which calls for greater funding to the CBC (yeah like they don't get enough already with over CAD 1 billion a year). The CBC no doubt will rejoice in the TRCs findings as it calls for yet more taxpayer funding. Of course the findings are a new weapon to be used against European Canadians. The CBC condemns the attitude of educators who attempted to "kill the Indian in the Indian" and yet they gleefully try to "kill the Canadian in the Canadian". And, as one would expect, there are also calls for affirmative action programmes to be put in place even though these are simply cosmetic. #62 ii-iii are focused primarily upon utilizing "aboriginal teaching methods". What pray tell could those be? How are aboriginal teaching methods different from those utilized by the majority of Canadians?

On the one hand it sounds as if the TRC wants separation but then on the other it sounds as if it wants greater inclusion and integration. One of the quotes used comes from Kevin Takahide Lee, who states, "Only when 'you' and 'me' become 'us' and 'we' can there be any reconciliation (p. 359)", which sounds like your typical internationalist, 'one love' clap-trap. Then of course there is the endless mention of the UN and the UN charter on the rights of indigenous peoples. I always hear of Amerindian and other aboriginal claims to self-determination, but how can this be achieved if all bow to the judgments of the UN or any other international (and European created) body?

Overall, the report reads as if the government has been oppressing aboriginals up to and including the last few decades, but even before the TRC Canada was giving way to aboriginal activists and their leftist allies. In 2010, for example, the government officially changed the names of the Queen Charlotte Islands, off the coast of BC, to Haida Gwaii. Why not have it so that aboriginals can call them Haida Gwaii but keep Queen Charlotte Islands as the official name for the rest of us? Since 1787 we have known it only by that name, in fact Haida Gwaii only dates back to the 1980s, meaning it is a modern invention. It is one thing to study the past and criticise aspects of it like the residential schools — personally I have nothing against the recommendations laid out by the commission for aboriginal communities to teach their people their own languages and I doubt anyone is against the calls for keeping aboriginal families together —, but the commission's findings seem to be more about promoting the current fad of white masochism and the leftist desire for greater bureaucracy and taxation. 4% of the population is to lord over the rest through moral blackmail and even more taxpayer funds thrown at corrupt aboriginal and liberal elites. Notice how the negative effect of overpaid and often nepotistic tribal leaders is conveniently forgotten. In fact, "Idle No More" is positively portrayed despite the fact its leader Theresa Spence completely mismanaged her band's finances, which left many of her people with improper housing and heating. On a side note, anti-white rhetoric was used by Idle No More protesters; so much for respectful dialogue. In the recommendations surrounding crime, the fact that most crime perpetrated against aboriginal peoples is from fellow aboriginals is glossed over.

Concluding Thoughts

No doubt many suffered and, believe it or not, I do not condone the system, but the way it is discussed today is clearly about attacking whites, Christianity and Western civilization as a whole. Like many minority issues, it has been usurped by the left. The fact that Sinclair wants it to be a crime to question the official narrative concerning the residential schools tows the leftist line perfectly. If it seems offensive to the left – regardless of what evidence is used to make a claim – then it is a sin and must be punished severely.

White self-haters
Whites sorry for being Whites

Sinclair claims that truth and reconciliation is not about dividing the country or making whites feel guilty but obviously that is already occurring. An example of this is given in the TRC report. On page 324 we read of a former teacher Florence Kaefer who states, "And from my English ancestors, I apologize today for what my people did to you." She later goes on to state how she tried her best to ensure that her students had a pleasant time but that clearly is not enough. Evidently all Euro-Canadians are to feel a collective guilt even if we had absolutely nothing to do with what happened or — as is the case of Kaefer — we tried our best to help aboriginal children. Whites are victimizers. The left, corrupt native leaders and their fellow travelers clearly are using aboriginal issues as a way of blackmailing Canadians into accepting their demands. Their primary goal is the creation of one official, cultural Marxist narrative irrespective of the truth.

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