Kevin D. Annett
The Crime ContinuesA gentle forewarning: Canadian readers will probably skip this article once they see the word "Indian" in it. But pause a moment. This is actually about something else.
A group of child rapists and serial killers recently issued a public apology to their victims, who responded this past week by gathering in their thousands in Ottawa to proclaim a "Statement of Forgiveness" to their torturers.
Only in Canada.
The fact that the "apologetic" criminal is the government and mainstream churches, and the victims are aboriginal, should make this scenario no less absurd.
What is it with us Canadians, anyway? Are we really the most self-duplicitous nation on earth? Do we actually believe that 50,000 little corpses can vanish that easily, and generations of slaughter somehow erased, with a few lawyer-crafted phrases followed by orchestrated hosannas by clusters of government paid Indian flunkies?
I'm speaking, of course, about the latest fiasco in the horribly embarrassing and shameful thing we like to call the "Truth and Reconciliation" process regarding the Indian residential schools.
You'll be reading and hearing lots about it this week through the controlled corporate press: about how "healing has arrived", as images of smiling and satisfied Indians dance before your white guilt and assuage it, as they are meant to do. You're supposed to feel happy and relieved, for those images are meant for you, the white taxpayer. They are meant to put you to sleep again and make you forget about the blood on your hands.
The church-engineered "Forgiveness Charter" issued at the Parliament Hill rally on June 13 was a new low, even for Christians. Without returning the remains of the children who died at their hands, or facing criminal prosecution or even a subpoena for their torture and killing of the innocent, the Catholic, Anglican and United Church of Canada that ran the residential schools have now been publicly "forgiven" by native people - or the ones on their payroll, at least.
You have to admit it, but they are good, these churches: total masters of deception and guile. Not only do they get away with the mass murder of children, but they come out smelling like roses in the process.
They've been able to do so, of course, only because of the collusion of their aboriginal victims: broken and brainwashed souls, by and large, who have been trained to bark appreciatively at any crumbs tossed to them by their white masters.
There are occasional exceptions, naturally, but native people in Canada generally have yet to escape from the mental and spiritual slavery foisted on them by us: something I've learned the hard way over twenty years of counseling, protesting and fighting alongside them.
Frederick Douglass, the black American who overcame his slavery, said once,
"Make a man a slave and he loses all moral accountability."
For there is no such accountability at any level of the official native world, whose manicured and lobotomized "leaders" have all faithfully accepted the government's fake "apology" and "forgiven" them for a genocide that is continuing.
"Our leaders are our biggest problem" describes a non-enslaved native woman, Carol Martin of the Nishgaa nation, who works in Vancouver's downtown eastside.
"They've never dealt with their own abuse so they're easy to manipulate. Half of them are rapists themselves. Look at this whole apology bullshit.
"Steven Harper's apology to us sounded just like when my ex husband tried making up with me after he raped and beat me. He'd do anything to get back on my good side, so he could do it all over again. Once you forgive a rapist, it's just a green light for them."
The green light was issued again on June 16 at the first of the government's $60 million Truth and Reconciliation Commission" (TRC) hearings in downtown Winnipeg: an orchestrated and heavily censored "forum for residential school survivors".
The "hearing" was anything but that: an enormous hoopla and distraction featuring such establishment redskins as singer Buffy Saint Marie, and "healing tents" run by the child-raping churches themselves, the event gave survivors a few hours each day to "share" their story of torture after attending a mandatory "training course" in how to do so, with the same kind of sensitivity and purpose as when mafia goons help to "instruct" Teamster members on how to vote at union meetings.
Fortunately, a few genuine indigenous people were there to tell the truth and oppose the whitewash.
Chief Peter Yellow Quill of Long Plains Anishinabe Nation in Manitoba led a counter-TRC protest that day that drew national media attention. In the face of screaming opponents and harassment by security guards, Peter stood with a sign outside the TRC proclaiming : "All the Children Need a Proper Burial: Stop the TRC Cover Up."
"They won't let us name names or tell about the children who were killed in this TRC" said Peter to reporters.
"But we won't be gagged anymore, including by our own people. We need our own inquiry to tell the whole story of residential schools to the world. Then maybe the world will take us seriously."
Peter has a good chance of being heard, despite the presence of the TRC, since European politicians have answered the call of our network to investigate Canada and its churches for genocide. But as long as the rapists and serial killers remain in power in Canada, and dictate reality and "healing" to the rest of us, the duplicitous bullshit of the TRC can only continue.Kevin Annett is a community minister who lives and works in the downtown eastside of Vancouver. He is a founder of a new, seven-nation coalition called The International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State. See: www.hiddenfromhistory.org