September 29, 2009

Natives respond on Canadian colonialism

In No History of Canadian Colonialism?! I posted a comment by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and my response. Now here's more on the subject:

Prime Minister Harper Denies Colonialism in Canada at G20"We cannot remain silent when such false statements are made. In fact society has a responsibility to denounce such misleading statements. Denying the history of colonialism in Canada is like denying the holocaust" said Chief Ghislain Picard of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL).

A simple search on Google on "Canada and colonialism" would certainly deny PM Harper's statement. What can be more colonial than a system where the original inhabitants have been removed from the land and forced to live on plots of land that are often the size of a postage stamp. There can be no other term than a colonialist regime when a constitution of a country is drawn up and the original inhabitants are excluded and made wards of the state, with no citizenship.

Legislation such as the Indian Act with policies of registering the Indigenous population for purposes of control have established a long standing colonial relationship of a racist, exploitative and coercive nature by the dominant settler population and their governments.
Harper denies Colonialism--Natives demand justice!All members of this group demand a public retraction of this falsehood.

His statement is not merely a gross error in the interpretation of Canadian history. It is a DENIAL of CONTINUOUS POLITICAL, INSTITUTIONAL, LEGISLATIVE, and CULTURAL OPPRESSION that has led directly to the DESTRUCTION and ONGOING REPRESSION of entire nations of indigenous peoples, their cultures, their languages, and all aspects of their ways of life.

This odious statement DENIES a consensus belief among a vast majority of Aboriginal, Canadian and non-Canadian historians, academics, activists, and many other community leaders of what has been justifiably called GENOCIDE.

To invoke regret through a PUBLIC APOLOGY for the HATE CRIMES that constitute the Residential School program, and then to turn around and proclaim that 'Canada has no history of colonialism', is hypocrisy and an insult to all who have suffered under colonialism and those who have died fighting it.
"We also have no history of colonialism"--Harper lying at the G20September 26, 2009 - 9:47pm

Now, now...he meant no history of EXTERNAL colonialism.

September 26, 2009 - 9:51pm

That's how invisible first nations are.

September 26, 2009 - 10:13pm

Jesus Christ...I mean, what do you say to this? The degree of arrogance, moral imbecility, and contempt for Canada's Indigenous peoples is unfathomable.

September 27, 2009 - 12:19am

The Boer War? The First World War? The Korean War? Our political support of the U.S.A. in the Vietnam War? Gulf/Iraq War I (1990-1991)? The occupation of Haiti? The Afghan War? Canada's thinly veiled military support of the U.S.A.'s Gulf/Iraq War II (2003-)? Canada's diplomatic support of Israel in the Israel Lebanon War (2006)? Canada's diplomatic support of Georgia during the 2008 Georgia Russia War? Canada's diplomatic support of Israel in the Israel Gaza War? Canada joining in the current U.S. and Israel saber rattling against Iran over the bogus (Iranian) nuclear weapons issue?

September 27, 2009 - 1:45am


Just like the U.S. doesn't torture.

September 27, 2009 - 12:33pm

Once again Stephen Harper humiliates Canada on the world stage.

September 27, 2009 - 1:12pm

Making the Indigenous FACT disappear is a national task shared in by all Canadian politicians. It has never stopped, crosses all party boundaries and continues to this day. That is the essence of a settler state. Harper is not alone. As Ward Churchill has said, it is like being locked up in a room with "the sociocultural equivalent of Hannibal Lecter."

September 27, 2009 - 3:04pm

The internal/external colonialism debate is moot for indigenous peoples never surrendered their lands. Canada exists as an illegal state imposed over territory that was never surrendered.

September 29, 2009 - 7:08pm

We've decided to take this serious educational matter into our own hands. We think that Stephen Harper should go back to high school and learn or re-learn the history of canada.

We've drafted a letter to the principal of the high school that Stephen Harper graduated from, as well as the superintendent and trustee of its school board on Stephen Harper's behalf:

Harper's statement cannot be described as one of many possible historical interpretations, nor can it even be written off as a misinterpretation of Canadian history. Instead, it belies an ignorance of incontrovertible historical facts that should be the foundation of even the most introductory knowledge of Canadian history.

This leads us to believe either that Mr. Harper has simply forgotten the historical facts your courses presumably teach, or that a grave error has occurred and he did not, in fact, complete the history courses required to receive his high school diploma. In either case, Mr. Harper should be invited to take these courses, either for the first time or as a refresher of knowledge he has obviously forgotten.
Comment:  Someone compared Harper to George W. Bush. Harper's comment on colonialism does sound like something Bush would say.


dmarks said...

September 27, 2009 - 12:19am
goes into loony-land with his list of modern situations that have nothing to do with Canada encouraging colonialism. Many of these are in fact rather anti-colonial, as in Canada's support in the first Gulf War of stopping Iraq from colonizing Kuwait.

Especially uninformed is the reference to "Canada joining in the current U.S. and Israel saber rattling against Iran over the bogus (Iranian) nuclear weapons issue?"

Any doubts about Iran's enthusiastic program to quickly build nuclear weapons are evaporating rapidly.

It's clear that all have good points about Harper's statement, but some have no idea what they are talking about when they ramble beyond that.

Rob said...

It's arguably a colonialist attitude to prevent other countries from joining the "big boys" in the nuclear club. And it's definitely a colonialist attitude to invade other countries based on what they might do in the distant future (e.g., the US invasion of Iraq).

But let's not waste time missing the forest for the trees. One line from one anonymous commenter is irrelevant to the substance of this posting.

In fact, I don't want to see any long debates on Iran or Iraq here. E-mail me or each other if you have to say something on the subject.

dmarks said...

Well, Rob, this is one of those shooting fish in a barrel. We're all agreeing on the main points.

We are all seeing "the forest", aren't we?

I see what you mean on the colonialism "big boys" thing. However, I questioned that commenter's assertion about Iran's nuclear weapons program not existing.

Nope, my comment was not intended to bring out any old debate about the justification for the Iraq war, or the "all Muslims are evil" one that creeps into so many comment threads.

Stephen said...

Speaking of Iran I highly recommend reading the Israeli PM's speech; it was very well done and very passionate.

"Nope, my comment was not intended to bring out any old debate about the justification for the Iraq war, or the "all Muslims are evil" one that creeps into so many comment threads."

Assuming that comment's directed at me I am not bigoted against muslims, which is why I haven't spouted 'rifqa barry's family is going to kill her' nonsense like bigots such as Pam Gellar.