Saturday, 23 April 2016

Lies About Genocide and Other Alleged Crimes at the Mohawk Institute Residential School Being Enabled by People Such as the Former Premier of Ontario

Introduction:  I will shortly make the case that it was not only the Government and the Anglican Church who were involved in establishing the Mohawk Institute (known "affectionately" as the Mush Hole), but it was the Chiefs of the Six Nations (and therefore the Clan Mothers) who wished to have a school where their children could receive a useful education to prepare them to meet the challenges of the world as adults.  What caused a re-examination of the whole matter of Residential Schools was the visit of the Hon. Bob Rae, former Premier of Ontario, and his particular appointment.  The information is found in Turtle Island News, April 29, 2016, p. 4 in an article entitled, Former Premier Bob Rae tours "Mush Hole's" dark past.

What follows are my views on the Mohawk Institute (a place which I know very well), and the so called evidence of horrid things that happened there over the years.  Some of this I have mentioned before in earlier blog postings, such as the posting here, and some is new to the subject as discussed in this blog.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission Selective Use of Evidence:  First, the entire residential school system was put under the microscope (with very selective viewing) quite recently. There is a great deal of irony in an august body called the "Truth and Reconciliation Commission", mandated by the Government of Canada and covered comprehensively here, when "truth" is not the object of the investigation.  Is there a shred of detail about the many positives (more on this later) that should have been brought forward to provide a balanced report?  The answer is a resounding no, because it would detract from "the message".  What this one - sided and cherry picking exercise did was to actively seek to avoid any "evidence" that did not support what was already a foregone conclusion, in other words the "party line".  It was already "known" that the Residential Schools were places where children were subjected to torture and even "mass genocide", and assorted other unspeakable crimes designed to eradicate Indian people, or at least remove the "Indian ness" from them.  QED, now set up a Government commission to prove what is already accepted as the known, the supposed truth.

The Concept of the "Survivor" and "Cultural Genocide":  So we hear of beatings, sexual abuse, starvation (all things common in homes on many Reservations then and now), from "survivors", who experienced this "cultural genocide".  These underlined terms have become buzz words designed to con vince Canadians and governments around the world of the horrors that were perpetrated on our own doorstep.  So this is the so called truth part, and of course the reconciliation part is money, lots of money, to compensate "survivors".  Ultimately there have been more lies (or distortions) than truth told in the service of ensuring that the Government will ante up.  When money is involved, stories become aggrandized - just the way things are since there was no penalty for lying or exaggeration built into the process.

So those who come in under the umbrella term of "survivor" (anyone who attended the school) had to make a choice.  Speak up and tell the truth, or stay quiet and let the activists lead the willing to provide tales of unspeakable horror - none of which could be proven, but that was quite irrelevant.  So sordid details abounded, and others who had different experiences and even recalled their days at the Mohawk Institute with nostalgia were never told (or heard by outsiders).

The Mohawk Institute in Perspective:  The truth is that the Mohawk Institute trained many of the Six Nations teachers who went on to become teachers of generations of students on the Six Nations Reserve.  Without the experiences and skills provided by the Mohawk Institute, which included members of many other Reserves (e.g., Muncey, Oneida, Saugeen) whose parents wanted their children to have a good education, the children would have been left way behind others in this country, and if they wanted to be say an architect, the doors would have been closed.  But no, the focus is supposed to be on the horrid things associated with the residential schools.

The truth with respect to the early days can be found in the records of the times.  First, the Chiefs of the Six Nations supported the Mohawk Institute, and for example, when the land surrenders of the 1840s were in progress, they asked that 200 acres be set aside near the Mohawk Chapel in Brantford for an Agricultural Institute attached to the Mohawk Institute to teach boys farming skills, as shown in the following Council Minutes from 1844:


Chiefs who signed Council Minutes:



(LAC, RG10, Volume 144, pp. 286-300 [83269-83287]).

Is it even remotely possible that the Chiefs and Clan Mothers did NOT know what was going on at the Mohawk Institute, and if all of the horrid things alleged to have happened there actually occurred, would they not put a stop to it?

Chronology of the Mohawk Institute:  Here follow the factual chronology of the Mohawk Institute from the Church of England website found here:

Milestones
  • 1828 Mechanics’ Institute opens as a manual training day school in the Mohawk Village for Indian boys from Six Nations. School is located across the road from the Royal Chapel of the Mohawks on land granted to the NEC by the Colonial Government and Six Nations Chiefs.
  • 1831 Some schoolboys are boarded at the Institute or in the Village.
  • 1834 Dormitories added to provide residential quarters for ten boys and four girls.
  • ca. 1837 Due to influx of non-native settlers, Provincial Government of Upper Canada orders Six Nations people to vacate land north of the Grand River (including the Mohawk Village) and to resettle on land south of the river, several kilometres from the school and chapel. Relocation is completed by early 1840s.
  • 1840 School remains in its original location at former Mohawk Village and is expanded to take in 40 children, mostly boarders, and especially more girls. A waiting list exists through the 1840s.
  • 1854–1859 School destroyed by fire and new building with subsequent additions erected a few hundred metres from old location. This site would be the final location of the school for more than a century.
  • 1860 NEC acquires large farm and vocational training soon focuses on farming which becomes a profitable venture by the mid-1870s. School adopts the more familiar name, Mohawk Institute.
  • 1868 Enrolment increases to 90.
  • 1880s Some students attend Brantford Collegiate Institute as a means to qualify as teachers. By the mid-1890s, about 20 boys and 25 girls had become Indian school teachers at the Mohawk Institute and other residential schools.
  • 1885 Government makes one time operating grant when school begins to accept students from other reserves.
  • 1891 Start of annual per capita grants by government to assist NEC in operation of the school until 1922, when Indian Affairs Department assumes management.
  • 1894 Orphans and destitute children taken in, some non-native. Large 3-storey wing added. Amendment to Indian Act makes education compulsory for native children.
  • 1903 Main school building and barns are destroyed by fires set by students.
  • 1904 Replacement building opens in October with authorized pupilage of 125. This structure, with later additions, will survive until it is closed in 1971. A small hospital is added to the school complex in 1908.
  • 1922 Following earlier attempt by NEC to sell the school to Indian Affairs, a 21-year lease is agreed to instead. Government takes over school operation and NEC reduces most of its financial assistance. Building receives major renovation. Agreement requires principal to be an Anglican, nominated by NEC. Another attempt to sell school in 1930 is unsuccessful. Indian and Eskimo School Administration of MSCC, which is poised to take over most Anglican residential schools in 1923, loses interest in managing the Mohawk Institute when financial issues cannot be resolved with NEC and government.
  • 1934 New dormitories added, increasing school enrolment to 150.
  • 1946, Jan. 1 New 21-year lease takes effect, continuing the status quo arrangement between NEC and government. However, NEC is unable to continue providing modest financial support.
  • 1948-1958 Classrooms added by renovating former army building moved to site and constructing new classroom block.
  • 1955 Enrolment is 185 students.
  • 1960s School evolves into a hostel, providing accommodation for children requiring special care and attention and for those from distant reserves lacking Indian day schools. Many attend Brantford public schools, as space permits. Enrolment declines as Children’s Aid Societies find foster homes for many of the Institute’s children.
  • 1963 Farming is discontinued as the boys are in school all day and hired labour deemed too expensive. Farmland will be returned to local Indian band.
  • 1965 New England Company sells its interest in the school building to the government for $100,000.
  • 1969 April 1 Government assumes complete control of school.
  • 1970 June 30 School closes. Most of the children in residence are from the north where new day schools have been constructed at their reserves. Only 23 students from Six Nations are in attendance this final year. By agreement with Six Nations Council, the government keeps a small staff to care for few remaining children kept in the hostel until foster care can be provided. School is finally vacated March 31, 1971 and building offered to Six Nations. Remaining school lands—a large part NEC claims title to—is ultimately returned to the Reserve.
  • 1972 October Native run Woodland Cultural Centre opens at the former school site. Old building is renovated for administrative offices and a research centre and new museum is constructed adjacent to it. The museum is dedicated to the history and culture of the Iroquoian and Algonkian peoples and offers gallery space for special art and historical exhibitions.
Compiled by General Synod Archives, September 23, 2008.
Misconceptions of the Mohawk Institute:  There are so many erroneous beliefs about the Mohawk Institute, it is impossible here to give a comprehensive account of all important matters.  However anyone researching the subject needs to explore primary source documents and first hand accounts from the time spectrum during which the school was in existance.  As a sample of what one can find with some researching of the matter is the 1911 Census of Canada for Brant County showing one of the pages listing the students at the Mohawk Institute.  Some facts of note is that all over the age of 10 could read and write, and that the students only attended school for 4 months a year, with half the day spent working (e.g., the boys in agricultural pursuits) and the other half of the day in school.  That is really not enough time to brainwash the children or perpetrate "cultural genocide" as is so commonly alleged.  Below is a sample page (click on page to enlarge):



Many Former Mohawk Institute Students Have Fond Recollections of Their Days There:  I have many times in this blog told of the off the record discussions I have had with elders (most attended the Mohawk Institute in the 1950s and 60s) who saw the school in a positive light, as for example offering 3 meals a day and the opportunity to learn something - neither of which they would have got at home.  

In addition the Mohawk Institute did not close because of agitation from the Six Nations community.  In fact they wanted it kept open.  The Truth and Reconciliation Commission does mention one very key fact that puts almost everything in perspective.  Volume 1 of the final report, entitled "The History, Part 2, 1939-2000." On page 93, it says that in March 1970, the "Six Nations Council" lobbied to have the Mohawk Institute kept open because many of the "successful members of Six Nations passed through the Institute."  This information comes from counterpoise, a fellow blogger link here.

Abuse at the Mohawk Institute?:  Some former students would acknowledge that there was physical abuse, but that is what they expected at home also.  If one wants to simply talk about beatings, it was hardly unique to Indian residential schools.  It happened in day schools throughout this country, and even in England upper class students sent there by their parents could expect daily canning - it was the times, and at the local level I can say from experience that excessive physical discipline existed in Haldimand County until the 1980s.  So should every Canadian, and every English child who went to boarding school be eligible for "compensation" (money)?  Sexual abuse happens everywhere, unfortunately.  I would like to see some evidence, any evidence, that those who attended an Anglican operated residential school such as the Mohawk Institute experienced any where near the level of what went on in the Catholic schools right up to the last few years.  There is a great deal of evidence about the latter scandal, but very little except anecdotal evidence about the Mohawk Institute.  Unfortunately this behaviour did not just happen in schools, but also in the homes across all Reserves, including those at Six Nations, and for that matter all across Canada in general.  

Why Are So Many Telling Stories of Awful Experiences at the Mohawk Institute?:  Granted that there were issues at the Mohawk Institute, it would be astounding if there were not - do you want to hear my horror stories about my time at day school?  No one is asking me about my horrid time at school and the scars I bear.  No one cares.  There is a huge difference in the mix here.  In a word, money.  If a strong case can be made for being a "survivor" and experiencing "cultural genocide" (whether true or not), there is a lot of money that will be handed over.  It is a moral dilemma for many at Six Nations.  Everyone else is coming up with stories (whether experienced first hand or heard third hand), and there will be compensation.  So to think the whole exercise immoral and say nothing would take a tremendous amount of resolve.  It would be truly instructive to learn of the numbers who refused to tell lies, exaggerate what at the time was the norm, or spread rumours.  Telling stories about this subject not to convict a specific offender, but to be eligible for "compensation", seems really really questionable to some (myself).

How Reliable Are the Memories?:  Science has shown us that while we may think we recall an event with point on precision, eyewitness testimony is fraught with difficulties - accuracy being the primary problem.  It is a well established fact that all memories are subject to change over time, and that there is the possibility of creating false memories which are believed and believable.  During the 1980s there was a rash of accusations of sexual abuse with the most incredible twists but which were believed (and even encouraged) by police interview tactics at the time.  It is amazing (not) what you can get with a few leading questions.  The phenomenon was called the "repressed memory syndrome".  The most egregious example was the McMartin Day Care Center in Manhattan Beach, California.  Here children were, under the "encouragement" of ill trained police investigators, coming up with the most off the charts descriptions of alleged sexual abuse there, involving dinosaurs, ritual abuse and every imaginable entity to weave into the tales of horror.  Lives were ruined by these accusations, and the fall out permeated the clinical practices of health care professionals (including myself) who were required to disentangle these stories or accept them at face value.  

As it turns out, the leading researchers on memory in the world, such as Dr. Elizabeth Loftus at University of California, Irvine stepped forward and testified in Court that the "repressed memory phenomenon" simply did not tally with what was known about human memory.  Ultimately, with the use of taped sessions of therapist and police "interrogations" of "victims", it became evident that what was happening was "therapist induced memories" brought to the fore by badgering by well intentioned (but incompetent) therapists (and even police officers) who were now prone to seeing sexual abuse under every rock.  Children were being coached (often unintentionally) by adults as to what they should be remembering, encouraged when the resulting tales were permeated by horrifying details that suggested ritual abuse, and disparaged if their memories were not in tune with those of others who had given testimony.  This was a horrible period, and as a professional in the field, I was embroiled in many such investigations where my role was to use my clinical training, deeply rooted in the scientific method, to tease out fact from fiction.  The point of this is that with the expectation to tell a certain version of an event or story, many people will comply rather than risk the censure of those who have preconceived expectations as to what they will be hearing.  Rather than disappoint (this is especially true of children), the person being interrogated (questioned) will most likely capitulate to expectation and leading questions - it happens all the time, and is one reason why police often get false confessions.  Hence it is entirely unclear how many memories of terrible things happening at Residential Schools are veridical (square with objective reality), and how many are induced or extracted false memories.  I am speaking here only of the situation at the Mohawk Institute since I am not familiar with the Residential Schools elsewhere in the Country.

Outright Lies, Conspiracy Theories and Those Who Believe Them:  Memory problems aside, there will be a real credibility gap if people can be shown to be spreading lies.  There are stories along the lines of urban myths that have taken root and ultimately spun out of control, such that there abound bizarre and outlandish direct accusations of mass murder and genocide spun by adults who should know better.  Many to most will believe the "party line" which has been propounded by community activists and their White anarchist and communist "friends" (without any first hand knowledge or having spoken with folks who attended residential schools).  However, many also accept uncritically the far more wildly crazy fringe allegations that have been shown to be entirely unfounded, but still many still believe this patently absurd stuff and get all fired up about it - refusing to for example acknowledge that the generator of these allegations was a self - serving defrocked White guy who was on a mission of self promotion.

If you believe ANY of what is to follow, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I can sell you cheap.  The website is found here:

BRANTFORD, ON, CANADA – Mass graves of Mohawk children have been uncovered by ground-penetrating radar at the Mohawk Institute, a residential school for Mohawk operated by the Church of England and the Vatican before its closure in 1970.

According to Rev. Kevin Annett, Secretary of the International Tribunal for Crimes of Church and States (www.itccs.org), the Mohawk Institute was “set up by the Anglican Church of England in 1832 to imprison and destroy generations of Mohawk children. This very first Indian [First Nations] residential school in Canada lasted until 1970, and, like in most residential schools, more than half of the children imprisoned there never returned. Many of them are buried all around the school.”

Preliminary scanning by ground penetrating radar adjacent to the now closed main building Mohawk Institute has revealed that “between 15-20 feet of soil” was brought in and put over the mass graves just before the Mohawk Institute closed in 1970 in order to camouflage the mass graves of Mohawk Children and avoid prosecution for genocide and crimes against humanity under the Geneva Conventions, the International Criminal Court, and cooperating national courts.


Furthermore, Rev. Kevin Annett states that instruments of torture such as a rack for torturing the Mohawk children in ritual torture have been found at the now closed Mohawk Institute. Eyewitnesses from the Mohawk community have stated they witnessed priests in red robes torturing children in ritual torture.

Rev. Kevin Annett states that instruments of torture such as a rack for torturing the Mohawk children in ritual torture have been found at the now closed Mohawk Institute. Eyewitnesses from the Mohawk community have stated they witnessed priests in red robes torturing children in ritual torture.

Annett has since been seen for what he is, a hoaxer, who has used the Six Nations gullibility to meet his own warped ends.  He was even given a Mohawk name as a mark of honour - said name having since been withdrawn.  NO mass graves (or a torture rack) have ever been found, just anomalies on "ground penetrating radar" which are to be expected since the site has been occupied since 1785.  The only bones found are what you would expect of a residential site - animal bone.  However if you haven't reached the "you have got to be kidding" place yet, it all gets even more "off the wall", as seen in the following quote from the same source - 


The discovery of the mass graves of Mohawk children, uncovered by ground-penetrating radar at the Mohawk Institute comes on the heels of videotaped evidence by eyewitness William Coombes, who in Oct. 1964 witnessed Elizabeth Windsor, as Head of State of Canada and Head of the Church of England, visit an aboriginal school in Kamloops, British Columbia, choose 10 young aboriginal children, made them kiss her feet, and allegedly took them from the school for a picnic at a lake.
The 10 aboriginal children were never seen again. Mr. Coombes, who was to give evidence at the International Tribunal for Crimes of Church and States (ITCCS.org) of Elizabeth Windsor’s child genocide, was murdered in Feb. 2011. Fortunately, Mr. Coombes’ testimony was videotaped before his death and is available for the Tribunal.
There is more:
Rev. Annett made these revelations in an exclusive Oct. 7, 2011 interview with Alfred Lambremont Webre. In the interview, Rev. Annett acknowledges the close parallels between the Oct. 1964 personal child genocide and possible ritual killings of 10 aboriginal children by Elizabeth Windsor, Head of State of Canada and Head of the Church of England, and the child genocides occurring during the same period at the Mohawk Institute.

These parallels suggest that Elizabeth Windsor, as Head of State and Head of the Church of England was personally aware of, ordered, and participated in this systematic program of genocide and ritual torture and killings at Church of England residential schools operated by the Church of England and the Vatican.
The above bolding in italics is that of the writer on the above website.

Clearly, a disconcerting number of people at Six Nations have been taken in by this hoaxer and his entourage.  It is at this point where I simply cannot relay any further such nonsense - Queen Elizabeth personally orchestrating acts of genocide in Canada???  Where is the evidence?  Answer - THERE IS NONE.  However people will believe this stuff, even now - what is the bet that I don't get a comment from one of these people - I do every time I write about the "mass graves" delusion.  There is a decided tendency for a disconcerting number at Six Nations to ascribe to conspiracy theories.  Conspiracy theory advocates do not use the requisite skills to methodically assess the merits of a patently outlandish "theory", and as a result end up giving it credence without being willing or able to factor in logic, reason and evidence (or lack thereof).   

Sobering Facts:  Despite the persistent believers of nonsense, there is evidence out there that would refute each and every off the wall belief - should one take the time to explore each in turn.  For example, elsewhere I have provided evidence from the Anglican Church registers of the Mohawk Chapel across the road from the Mohawk Institute showing the burials that did take place - and that these burials are properly recorded.  If one wanted this to be all hush hush, would you really record the burial in an Anglican register with name, date of burial, the fact of attendance at the Mohawk Institute, and the Reserve of the deceased?  It makes absolutely no sense.  

Furthermore, half of the children who attended the Mohawk Institute did not die there!  The lives of most (as many as in the White community) can be followed via the Canadian Census taken every 10 years, and available online to 1920 and shows most of the former students at home on the Reserve or elsewhere after they left school - I know so because I have done so.  The fact that some students died at the Mohawk Institute is not in the least surprising since during the early years of its existence, and even into the 20th Century, childhood disease and death was common.  Not unusual, of 7 children, my grandfather and one brother were the only two to live to adulthood. 

Using the Word "Survivor":  Children who attended the Mohawk Institute are NOT "survivors" they are not even "victims".  They are school attendees.  If you are in a plane crash and many died, you are a survivor.  The word "survivor" is being grossly misused to describe children who attended a school where they graduated and moved on.  Some did die of natural causes as would be the case at home (pneumonia for example can kill anywhere).  The word "survivor", only recently, has begun to be applied widely including those who have suffered sexual abuse.  They are victims, not survivors.  The only time "survivor" would be appropriate in a context beyond a disaster such as a plane crash is for true genocide such as perpetrated by the Nazis at Buchewald and other concentration camps.  If you became a "resident" or "inmate" there, the statistical fact is that most died, and if you did not die you experienced unspeakable horrors - that is very well documented.  If you are among the few who did not die, you are a "survivor".  In this context the term only applies to genocide.  However by calling school attendees "survivors" it paints a grim picture, allows you to use the term "genocide" (inappropriately) and sets the stage for more monetary extraction from the Canadian taxpayer's wallet.
Bob Rae Enters the Picture:  Bob Rae is the former (New Democratic Party) Premier of Ontario and later interim leader of the Ontario Liberal Party.  I doubt not that Mr. Rae is a very intelligent man.  However, it appears that he has not done any homework and has suspended his critical thinking skills.  However, as noted in the above newspaper article, Mr. Rae has agreed to become a new Honourary Patron of the "Save the Evidence" campaign.  Basically, the Six Nations community was divided on what to do with the Mohawk Institute - since some came to believe that it was a symbol of Canadian Colonialism etc. etc., and others who did not want to see part of their history erased.  Just as I would not want to see my school torn down, many at Six Nations felt the same way about the Mohawk Institute which, by the way, has served as the Woodland Indian Cultural - Educational Center since it closed as a school.  It has a superb library and research facilities, and is associated with the museum next door which houses Six Nations artifacts and art.  The concept is then that by preserving the structure, somehow the evidence as to what happened there will also be preserved.  Whatever.  So, the Hon. Mr. Rae, another White enabler of the tall tales faction.
The Truth Has Yet to be Told:  The truth is very elusive here in that those who can best shed light on the matter have not stepped forward but are held back by the wish to not go against the grain of the Community beliefs.  So the factual / balanced story will likely never be told since the elders I have spoken with over the years are rapidly passing from the scene.  Soon there will just be the biased written stories (e.g., in a very large book published on the "Mush Hole") and nothing to balance them - and all will believe that Canada wanted to "take the Indian out of the Indian" at the Mohawk Institute.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  As I have said, from the git go the Chiefs supported the Institute as a place on the Reserve where their people could receive an education that would allow them to adapt to an ever changing world.  Their words remain - however who but myself is even aware that the Chiefs and hence the Clan Mothers had anything except a negative view of the school?  So we have those who recall their grandmother telling them ................ sorry, that does not cut it.  Memory is too fragile to take at face value without supporting evidence.

Even the skewed and grotesquely biased "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" (TRC) includes one bit of correct history which sheds a positive light on the Mohawk Institute.  Here they report,  However, in March 1970, the Six Nations Council announced that it had not been properly consulted over the closure of the school. The council argued that “the Institute could still serve a very useful purpose. Many of the successful members of Six Nations passed through the Institute.”  This information can be obtained from the TRC on page 93 here.  In other words, in 1970 the Mohawk Institute was viewed as a successful school by the Chiefs of the Six Nations!  In but a few years later, it will be "inconvenient" to acknowledge the truth, and so the "party line" becomes entrenched and it is all about the negative aspects - since that will mean more money, and a greater ability to capitalize on "victim status".

Someone needs to spend some time digging into the records at the National Archives in Ottawa and the Archives of Ontario at York University, as I did many years ago, and learn the truth.  But once again the theme of this blog rears its ugly head - a troubling number at Six Nations would rather stick to their beliefs than assess the facts and face the truth.

All people who attended the Mohawk Institute need to be heard, without fear of reprisals, and the relevant documents, and archived oral testimony from before the Institute closed in 1970, will together hopefully speak to offer a clear voice from the past.

DY.


6 comments:

  1. There is much in this posting that Canadians should know. I too am concerned that those who know the most about the establishment and running of the schools are fast disappearing. And political correctness silences those who have a different story to tell.

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  2. Hello Mark,

    This blog is one effort to take the matter in a more rational, balanced and truthful direction. Hopefully there are academics who are willing to shoulder the risk involved in assessing the evidence objectively, and providing the other side of the coin in peer reviewed publications. DY.

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    1. I too have been wondering how long it will take for academics who haven't already hitched their wagons to the anti-colonial wagon to look closely at the IRS system and the charges levelled against it. Jim Miller, who recognizes the failures of the system, has done some good work in this area.

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  3. DeYo--I agree with Mark DeWolf's April 24, 2016 comment that "[t]here is much in this posting that Canadians should know."

    I also agree with DeWolf that political correctness has led to too much silence. Fortunately, there are aboriginals and non-aboriginals who attended and/or worked at residential schools, who have spoken publicly about the positive side. Unfortunately, the mainstream media has primarily bought into the "cultural genocide" and "survivor" narrative, and very rarely reports the more upbeat accounts.

    But this one-sided reporting works against both parties. It works against non-aboriginals because it often signals they have bought into the far-left propaganda that everything about their race and western civilization is evil. Of course, there are aspects of the dominant non-indigenous culture that can be improved upon, such as not allowing one's life to revolve around material things and technology.

    Yet not all aspects of indigenous culture were ideal historically either, e.g., torture, enslavement and decimation of some tribes by other tribes. Aboriginals need to look at those aspects of their culture that are questionable, instead of blaming everything on colonization and the residential schools.

    Am glad to see that at least some in the media are reporting on aboriginals who take a more practical approach to developing strong communities. For instance, Cheam First Nation Chief, Ernie Crey, is quoted as saying in an April 15, 2016 National Post article that people need to get down to specifics as to what is wrong on some reserves. He said parents need to develop better parenting skills and need help overcoming their addictions. And he added "[t]hey don't need a symposium on colonization.

    Plus, as you wisely point out, there needs to be more focus on assessing the facts and facing the truth.

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  4. Thanks for your insightful comments counterpoise. Aboriginals need to take responsibility for their own flaws and quit playing the blame game. The recent comprehensive report on 7 recent suicides on Alberta Reserves make it abundantly clear that the real problem is multi - generational abuse, a lack of parenting skills and substance abuse. This pattern creates a climate of hopelessness, and it is no wonder that some youth see suicide as a viable option. The solution has to come from local initiatives on the Reserves. It has nothing to do with "colonializm" (although simple minded leftist activists would have you believe this nonsense), and everything to do with family dysfunction. More billions thrown after more billions of dollars won't rectify the problem - only removal to less isolated communities, or if that is unpalatable, then individual Reserve - based initiatives to deal with the two prongs of addictions and abuse. The Canadian Government did not cause this, and does not have the ability to "cure" it. As you say, there is a long history to violence within aboriginal communities, and violence between one aboriginal community and its neighbour long before Columbus set foot in the Americas. The Peacemaker was only partially successful in that local violence was replaced by externally directed violence - and in more recent times there has been a return to violence within communities. DY.

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  5. Over the years, I've collected quite a bit of information that both enlarges one's understanding of the residential school system with its many flaws, and reveals how inaccurate and biased is much of the information that is broadcast to the Canadian public. How many more times will native leaders and "respected" media sources repeat the falsehood that all First Nations children were compelled by law to attend a residential school? Between 20 and 30% of aboriginal children during the IRS period were enrolled in one of those schools (some for only a year or two); the others attended a local day school, or did not attend school at all. But find a native leader who's willing to say that...?

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