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A Genocide by Canada

Essay by   •  May 15, 2016  •  Essay  •  1,098 Words (5 Pages)  •  949 Views

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A genocide by Canada

Hundreds of people around the world still debate whether or not what Canada did to the first nations was a genocide. Some people argue that it was cultural genocide because they say it was all an act to destroy their culture not their people, and that calling it genocide would be going too far. The United Nations definition of a genocide is "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part1 ; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group." this proves that what had been done to the First Nations was not a cultural genocide but a genocide. Canada’s actions towards the first nations peoples from 1870 to 1996 was a genocide because a large population of them were targeted and oppressed, the government forced them to be isolated from Canadian society, an attempt was made to destroy the aboriginal culture, and the Canadian government did all this deliberately to destroy the indigenous people.

A genocide rather than cultural genocide was shown tremendously by the fact only Indigenous people were targeted and oppressed by the government. During the time residential schools were open, thousands of First nation kids were taken from their homes at gunpoint and forced to attend schools in which the teachers would treat them like animals. It’s said that thousands of children were murdered at the residential schools due to the poor treatment they received by the staff. Some committed suicide, others were starved to death but most were killed by diseases and illnesses within their school. The staff would purposely put sick children with healthy children hoping they all would get sick and die. Medical care was never provided for them, “50,000 – 100,000 corpses have literally and officially gone missing.” Some bodies of the deceased were never returned to their families. A group of Natives who called themselves Beothuk’s lived in Newfoundland and Labrador and were slaughtered by the English and French because they would not give up their land, Beothuk’s are nearly extinct because a large majority of them were murdered. As many were killed and tortured, genocide, is what the First Nations experienced in Canada.

A genocide was also conveyed to the First Nations when the government forced them to be isolated from Canadian society. Indigenous people were not allowed to vote or be a part of any municipal or federal election until 1961 because they were not recognized as civilized beings for the way they ran things. The 1876 act was one of the big reasons why the natives were isolated from Canadian society because it assured that no first nation was involved in Canadian business. They were not allowed to sell or produce goods without the written permission of the local Indian Agent and were not allowed to attend universities for the longest time. Residential schools made sure that indigenous children were separated from their own people and white people. They were locked in an area where they were not exposed to Canadian life but rather exposed to “white culture”. Therefore the government did a lot to isolate the first nations from Canadian society and their actions show it was genocide.

The fact an attempt to destroy the aboriginal culture also speaks for itself. A genocide to occur means an act will have to be committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group. What the Aboriginals experienced was all acts with intent to destroy their culture. Politicians

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