Canada has a few blots on its history. As a onetime Canadian historian, I wrote on one of them: the treatment of Asians, particularly in pre-WWII western Canada. (1)
Canada was not alone in this regrettable behavior. Anglo-Saxon racism was a feature of life in the United States, Great Britain and other English-speaking countries as well.
Even the union label, which we think of as a device to identify union-made goods from non-union-made was begun as a way of identifying Occidental-made cigars from Oriental-made, something not generally known.
We tend to forget how many countries were racist before the Second World War, assuming that only Germany was.
But a second blot is even worse: the treatment of aboriginal children at residential schools, where they were sexually assaulted and abused, knowingly exposed to illnesses which decimated their numbers, and sometimes murdered. Those who died were often buried in unmarked graves, sometimes cremated. And then the whole thing was hushed up.
“Witness to Abduction of Aboriginal Children Dies Suddenly”
My understanding is that the federal department responsible for them sent many to residential schools knowing full well that they would succumb to occidental diseases. The intentional desire to eliminate natives is one of the features – but only one – that makes the treatment of Canada’s native population genocidal. I hate to say it, but we can no longer try to hide from these matters.
Rev. Kevin Annet has been fighting for as long as I can remember to have these crimes acknowledged and has been threatened with death by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Vancouver Police Department.
Now witnesses to these crimes are dying under suspicious circumstances.
These allegations are scandalous. They are something that will definitely be seen to when accountability begins in earnest. Here are two more videos on the matter.
“Witness to Murder at Indian Residential School”
“Unrepentant: Canada’s Genocide.” Doubleclick to go to Youtube and watch remaining nine parts.
(1) “‘Keeping British Columbia White’: Anti-Orientalism in the West, 1858-1949. Canada’s Visual History; series 1, v. 14. [Ottawa]: National Film Board of Canada with the National Museum of Man, 1974; Theories of Anglo-Saxondom. National Museum of Man, 1974; “From the Watchtowers of Patriotism” Journal of Canadian Studies, 1976.