Why Idle No More is calling to #CancelCanadaDay
“They Take the Children from the Land To Take the Land from the Children” – Idle No More Vancouver June 27 2021
- Canada’s very existence is founded on genocide. Canada’s insistence on describing its history as ‘cultural genocide’ is double speak.
- Canada has been systematically trying to eliminate or assimilate Indigenous people, through genocidal policies in every area:
- Establishing ‘reserves’ and stealing all land for itself
- Creating a relationship of legislated dependence
- Criminalizing all ceremonial gatherings
- Government-forced starvation, including killing all the buffalo and continuing today as threatening the existence of salmon
- Turning a blind eye to the murders of Indigenous women and girls despite the report of MMIWG.
- Continuing the for-profit pipeline of the abuse of Indigenous children, now through the child welfare system
- Condoning the pipeline from foster care into the criminal justice system
- Having racist police – including the RCMP – to enforce genocidal government policies
- RCMP started as the Northwest Mounted Police who had a specific mandate to prevent uprisings by Metis and Indigenous people. This racist model of policing has been carried into all police forces.
- Their job included tearing children from their families and taking them to residential schools
- Police forces continue to terrorize Metis and Indigenous people by starlight tours and violent arrests.
- Police forces have been criminally negligent in their non-investigation of murdered and missing women and girls
- They are empowered to target Indigenous land defenders more violently than they target non Indigenous activists – including describing Indigenous activists as terrorists
- Doing ecocidal resource extraction without regard for the earth, for the role of Indigenous people as stewards of the earth, or the rights of Indigenous people
- Cynically failing to do anything significant about the recommendations of the TRC, the MMIWG report, or the principles of UNDRIP
- A continuing refusal to acknowledge the current reality of genocide of Indigenous people
- Canada does not have an ‘Indian problem’. It has a white supremacy problem.
- The discovery of children buried in the grounds of residential schools is not news to folks in Indian country. Canada has been told many many times over the last 100 years about residential schools, including
- In 1907 a Public Health Officer, Dr Peter Bryce, was sent to investigate conditions at residential schools and reported the appalling conditions. Duncan Campbell Scott refused to act and the genocide continues.
- In the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report the federal government refused a request from the TRC to investigate deaths of children in residential schools.
- The Catholic Church, the Anglican Church and the United Church, who ran residential schools for the government, are actively resisting efforts to make them accountable. It is shocking that these institutions claim moral authority after the blood of tens of thousands of children are on their hands. The refusal of the Pope to apologize leaves a stark moral vacuum. Whether they are trying to avoid legal and fiscal responsibility or not, their silence is deafening.
- Despite all of the oppression, our cultures’ revitalization continue. We continue to thrive. We continue to reclaim. We turn away the oppressor with the power of our medicine. We have witnessed full militarized responders shaking in their boots as we stand with only our ancestors’ teachings running in our blood, our feathers and our drums, and our hands upraised..
- We are strong. We have many allies. We are unstoppable.
Written by protectors in Idle No More on Coast Salish Territories, Nikky Ermineskin (program director and press liaison) and Sara Cadeau (event producer and M.C.)