When the name ‘Canada’ is mentioned, many wrongly think that it is a very advanced and non-discriminatory country. What a deception! Currently, Canada is in the news for wrong reasons. Recently, the remnants of 215 children thought to be the First Nations who died during the infamous residential school era were discovered. According to the BBC (May 29th, 2021), “the children were students at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia that closed in 1978.” These schools–––run by the Roman Catholic church on behalf of the government of Canada–––gravely abused Aboriginal children physically, sexually, culturally, mentally and morally. They were not allowed to speak their languages, keep their traditional ponytails as per their culture, learn about their cultures, society and, above all, their land grabbed by white settlers who make modern Canada.
To be precise, what happened in Canada was purely apartheid despite the fact that Canada kept it under the rag for a long time. Interestingly, now Canada wants to sue the Roman Catholic Church as a way of saving face since when the crimes were committed, the duo were in the same bed running the same project. They're all equally criminally liable. The BBC notes that residential schools took over 150,000 children from their families between 1863 to 1998.
Apart from Kamloops’ massacres, many Aboriginal children are still being taken from their families and placed under white foster care, which denies them parental care from their parents. So, too, this systemic apartheid has added more pains to the Aboriginal people who make 30% of inmates in Canada despite being just 5% of Canada’s population (Guardian, January 22nd, 2021) of 37,067,011 as of April 1st, 2018 (June 14th, 2018).
For those who don’t know what residential schools are, they’re government schools aimed at ‘civilising’ Indigenous Canadians to western modernity hence making Aboriginal Canadians Europeans by assimilating them in a ‘civilised’ European colonisation as a form of culture.
The first question every reasonable person can ask is: was colonialism a type of civilisation or just a crime against humanity?
The residential school system started under the Indian Act in 1876. When this sickening discovery was made, the UN independent experts, instead of reprimanding the country, just said that “large scale human rights violations have been committed against children belonging to Indigenous communities, it is inconceivable that Canada and the Holy See would leave such heinous crimes unaccounted for and without full redress.”
Just imagine if Canada were an African country. What does this say about globally enshrined racism? How can UN ‘experts’ speak softly about such a genocide?
Like China, India, Israel, US and other Middle East countries, among others, Canada is a racist country but its racism is concealed under the wisdom of the monkey, namely hear nothing, see nothing and say nothing. Ostensibly, Canadians are equal people.
The discovery of the remains of 215 Aboriginal children has shone light on Canada’s dark and dirty secret. Those in the know believe that what’s been discovered is but the tip of the iceberg as far as this genocide is concerned.
Canada’s PM, Justin Trudeau concurs saying that “today, some of the children found in Kamloops, and who have yet to be found in other places across the country, would have been grandparents or great-grandparents. They would have been elders, knowledge keepers and community leaders” (CTV News, June 1st, 2021).
To date, Aboriginal Canadians live in reserves away from other Canadians. They live in abject poverty even sometimes, worse than that found in the purported the third world. Despite this, Canada still prides itself to be a developed country that honors human rights. Can such a society be equal and fair?
In sum, those who tend to believe that Western country are the citadel of advancement, civilisation and human rights should think twice. Who’d think that Canada would butcher its own people simply because they are not white? Who’d think that Canada would conserve apartheid for generations not to mention committing genocide against the First Nations and other Aboriginal people of Canada. That’s Canada the outside world doesn’t know.
By Nkwazi Mhango
Mhango is a lifetime member of the Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador (WANL) and author of over 20 books among which are Africa Reunite or Perish, 'Is It Global War on Terrorism' or Global War over Terra Africana? How Africa Developed Europe and contributed many chapters in scholarly.