In Canada, Indigenous people, a protected group, were systematically murdered, harmed, assimilated, sterilized, and stolen with the intent to destroy the group.
So not only did Canada’s actions against Indigenous people have all three elements required by the definition, but it also committed all five prohibited acts.
Take the Indian out of the child
- Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister
I want to get rid of the Indian problem… Our objective is to continue until there is not an Indian that has not been absorbed into the body politic, and there is no Indian question, and no Indian Department
– Duncan Campbell Scott, Oversaw the operation of Residential Schools
While there are many examples of the genocidal acts Canada committed, the one that’s been in the news most recently is the practice of taking children forcibly from their families to attend Residential schools. We now have evidence of what Indigenous people have always known, thousands of children died at these schools from disease, abuse, neglect, and starvation.
The legacy of past genocidal acts still exists today through intergenerational trauma and the numerous policies that have devastating effects on Indigenous communities. The following are just a few.
Indigenous women in Canada are over-represented in the prison system, accounting for 42 percent of all federally sentenced women in Canada, and 50 percent of maximum-security placements for women.
In 1951, revisions to the Indian Act granted provincial child welfare agencies authority on reserves, which led to Indigenous children being taken away from their families at a staggering rate. Despite recent apologies from the government, these actions have resulted in more Indigenous children in the child welfare system today than during the peak of the residential school system.
In 2019, the result of the government’s National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was released with the conclusion that the thousands of victims were part of a Canadian genocide.
Acknowledge and spread the true history of Canada. Only through admitting past wrongs can we have reconciliation.
This National Indigenous History month, we're asking governments to commit to adding this history to high school curriculums. If you’d like to participate, please fill out the form below to send a letter to federal and provincial politicians to let them know you think the true history of Canada should be taught in school. You will also receive a copy of the letter.