April 30, 2008

Unrepentent claims disputed

A followup on defrocked United Church minister Kevin Annett and his documentary Unrepentent.

Truth and Native Abuse

How one man's wild claims threaten success of Truth and Reconciliation.Annett is interviewed sympathetically on CBC's As It Happens, and it is commonplace for journalists to report Annett's claims unchallenged, no matter how bizarre, and without first inquiring into his history of allegation-making. His documentary film Unrepentant has earned favourable reviews in such "progressive" Canadian journals as Briarpatch. It has won awards at independent film festivals in New York and Los Angeles.

This matters.

It matters because the story of secret residential-school mass graves is an urban legend.

For years, RCMP investigators have been chasing down these stories and they always come up with nothing. But they persist, like the alligators in New York's sewers.


Anonymous said...

Racist and Holocaust Denier maligns Residential School survivors and their advocate, Kevin Annett Eagle Strong Voice, in Tyee magazine

Statement by the Indigenous Elders of The International Human Rights Tribunal into Genocide in Canada (IHRTGC)

For International Media Release

30 April, 2008
Squamish Nation Territory ("Vancouver, Canada")

We are shocked and disgusted by an article that appeared this week in the west coast magazine "The Tyee", authored by Terry Glavin. This article is nothing more than a racist denial of the claims of residential school survivors that children died and were buried in mass graves across Canada.

The article is also a scathing and unsubstantiated personal attack on the one caucasian man who has fought consistently and with great self-sacrifice for residential school survivors in Canada, Reverend Kevin Annett, who has been given the sacred name Eagle Strong Voice by our elder and IHRTGC judge Chief Louis Daniels, and adopted by him into the Anishinabe Nation. We therefore consider any attack made upon Reverend Annett to be an attack on the Anishinabe people, and on us.

We consider The Tyee to have violated and dishonoured our people by printing this hateful and misleading article, and we demand its formal retraction and the public censure of Terry Glavin by the magazine and by all concerned citizens.

Until The Tyee takes these steps, we call upon all people to boycott this publication.

For generations we have fought against the kind of ignorance and racism spouted by Mr. Glavin, who is basically calling our people liars.

For example, Glavin insultingly refers to eyewitnesses' accounts of residential school graves as "urban legends ... like alligators in New York sewers" (!).

In effect, Glavin is saying that there are no mass graves of native children, when the very body he claims to support - the government's "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" - has already cited evidence that children in these schools were buried "four or five to a grave".

This is not an "urban legend", as Glavin sarcastically claims. This is the truth, as witnessed by Sylvester Greene, who personally buried an Inuit child at the United Church school in Edmonton in 1953; or William Combes, who saw a priest bury a child at the Kamloops Catholic school in 1964.

Is Glavin calling these men liars? Why has he not interviewed them, and given their story the same exposure as he has his hatred against Reverend Annett?

And why does Glavin falsely claim that the RCMP have "investigated" these claims and "found nothing"? This is an outright lie, for on countless occasions, we have taken this evidence to the RCMP, who have flatly refused to investigate. For they, like Mr. Glavin, are actively concealing this crime of genocide against our people.

With typical colonial arrogance, and speaking in the same tongue as our church and government abusers, Terry Glavin states that all our claims are already known, and that the history of the residential schools is not hidden. What a lie this is! The real story of these schools has only begun to be told, as is evident in Glavin's and The Tyee's refusal to reprint or comment on any of the evidence of murders, forced sterilizations and mass graves that we have submitted to them over the past four years.

Rather than help our people, Terry Glavin engages in the worst kind of character assassination and yellow journalism by attacking Rev. Annett personally, belittling and mocking the physical attacks made against him, and subjecting him to the same kind of cruelty that has been inflicted on him by those in church and state who are responsible for the torture and death of our children in residential schools. We therefore must ask if Glavin is working for these same destructive parties.

We are especially appalled that Glavin is posing as a "supporter" of our people while conducting such a hateful and destructive assault on our work and the word of residential school survivors. Lacking the honesty or courage to attack us directly, Glavin targets Reverend Annett, who he portrays as being the author of the claims of murder and mass burials at residential schools.

Let this be clear: the claims that Glavin is attacking concerning the murder and burial of residential school children do not emanate from Kevin Annett, but from hundreds of eyewitnesses who saw these killings, participated in burying children, or personally experienced the brutalities documented so accurately by Reverend Annett since 1996. Reverend Annett is simply the messenger of these accounts.

In that regard, we stand by every statement made by Reverend Annett concerning crimes in Indian Residential Schools, and we challenge Mr. Glavin and The Tyee to refute them with evidence of their own.

In addition, on March 16, 2008, Reverend Annett was appointed as the personal agent of hereditary Squamish Chief Kiapilano, on whose land Mr. Glavin lives and The Tyee is published. We therefore consider Terry Glavin and The Tyee to have violated their occupancy of Chief Kiapilano's land, and Chief Kiapilano's hospitality, and we call upon both Terry Glavin and The Tyee to vacate Squamish territory immediately.

Let us conclude by saying that we consider Terry Glavin's article to be an outright assault on all residential school survivors and their struggle to be heard and believed. Glavin and The Tyee have set back the clock and added to the crushing burden on our people by undermining that struggle.

We insist that, once it has relocated, The Tyee immediately open its pages to those residential school survivors who can speak of the murders they have witnessed, and the burial sites they know exist. If it refuses to, we must assume that the Tyee endorses the racist and irresponsible garbage written by Terry Glavin.

We call upon the world to endorse our condemnation and expulsion of Terry Glavin and The Tyee, and to boycott this magazine and person.

Sincerely, we are

The Indigenous Elders of the IHRTGC, coming from the Squamish, Cree, Metis, Anishinabe, Lakota and Six Nations under the traditional Land Law Jurisdiction of Turtle Island.

Chief Louis Daniels, presiding elder

contact: genocidetribunal@yahoo.ca

30 April, 2008

Anonymous said...

re: A Critique of Canada's Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commssion. A good discussion of the bogus nature of T&R and it's use by the legal establishment to avoid culpability can be found at Dissident Voice:

Anonymous said...

this is niska, I ask for kevin annett not to use this to maek money off native pass lives that were hurt and raped and murdered.. as I have family that are from vancouver island and B,C, area that hve been through this misery in life.. I think mr annett profits money it should go to those families to help them with the PSTD's