CONTRIBUTION · 14th April 2012
I’ve been ignoring the orchestrated circus calling itself the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but now that it’s meeting in my own backyard, I’ve been asked to comment.
Frankly, it’s all quite the déjà vu experience. The travesty going on this weekend in Victoria reminds me of a story told to me by one of the few survivors who hasn’t been gagged. When the children weren’t being starved, raped and tortured to death, they were dressed in decent clothing every Sunday and paraded in front of a smiling and appreciative middle-class congregation at the local United Church. And there, to the happy amusement of the official Christians, the boys and girls of the Edmonton Indian Residential School would sing hymns of praise to Jesus.
After they had performed for the Christians, the children would return to the school, where half of them would die.
Those who did survive are still performing for us, because we still desperately need to smile on Indians and think good of ourselves. That’s really why we created the misnamed “Truth and Reconciliation Commission”: to reassure ourselves that we aren’t, in fact, murderers.
The Indians are singing a new tune to us these days, perhaps not a church hymn anymore, but one just as crafted and controlled by us. Those chosen survivors whose statements have been reviewed and officially approved by the state and church-funded TRC are presenting to us what we need to hear: a sanitized version of the unspeakable that will not disturb either our sleep or our legal liability.
The survivors will say many things, but none of it will ever be acted upon, or, heaven forbid, used as a way to bring to justice the churches responsible for killing more than 50,000 children. That’s not allowed. The head TRC official, another sanitized Indian named Murray Sinclair, has even called the whole thing “a big venting session and nothing more”.
Like in the days they sang in the church choir, the survivors will be doing all the performing. We will do the listening. That’s how the game has always worked. That’s how we learned how to conquer and enslave them: watch, and learn, and manipulate.
One of the few indigenous people left standing, a traditional Anishinabe man named Peter Yellow Quill, had the temerity to ask the TRC Commissioners in Winnipeg last June why none of the church officials would be testifying at the hearing.
“Shouldn’t the people who caused this holocaust be made to explain and be held accountable?” Peter asked.
He was told to sit down.
Peter still doesn’t get it, but I don’t blame him. He doesn’t understand who and what he’s dealing with yet. Neither do all the desperate brown men and women who will walk on razors and publicly undo themselves once more by recalling their torture in order to provide satisfaction to we who caused their suffering: the Mu Multh Nees.
That’s a west coast word from a nation long gone, and it means, “Those who are nothing”. It’s what the Nuu-chah-nulth people named the first Europeans they encountered.
I’ve pondered that word mu multh nee
ever since it was first told to me in 1993 by a hereditary Nuu-chah-nulth chief in Port Alberni, where I began to learn of the mass graves of all the children behind the United Church residential school there.
Stirring his tea, the old man explained,
“Sometimes it means ‘the ghost people’, ‘cause that’s what you seemed like to my ancestors, spirits who were lost. But it really means, people who are Nothing.”
“Nothing?” I repeated, confused.
“Yeah” he said. “You appear to be real but you aren’t.”
Appearance, after all, is everything to us Nothings.
If we create an appearance of an investigation and call it a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, then it is faithfully believed to be so: even when it has no power to subpoena, or prosecute, or allow names of criminals to be named.
If we speak of healing, we genuinely believe that we know what that is; and that we are actually capable of it. But the Appearance is shattered in an instant by simple questions like “Where are the bodies?”, and “Who is responsible?”, which is why the TRC must be as rigidly controlled as a Sunday church service.
Most of the many aboriginal survivors I know have avoided the TRC like the plague, knowing that Nothing will come of it. And sure enough, tomorrow in Victoria, as at every TRC event, the carefully screened and selected witnesses will tell their tales of woe and desperately believe, as all slaves must, that Caesar will be moved, and will change, as if he were human. But that which is Nothing cannot change.
And yet, the performance must go on, and this week the Canadian “media”, which has for so many years utterly ignored the evidence of murder and torture and mass graves at the Indian residential schools, will suddenly and dutifully describe how something called truth and healing has finally arrived. All of the right kind of Indians will be quoted. But the survivors will continue to die in droves. And the graves will remain closed.
My closest friends worry about me these days, even more than normal. One of them called me up yesterday and said,
“It must be hard for you to be so ignored when you’ve been so vindicated. After all you’ve sacrificed, I don’t know how you can stand it, this huge cover up of the truth.”
“It’s okay” I replied. “None of it’s real”. For in the last days, I will pour out my spirit on those I have chosen: even on my poorest servants. For the sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the coming of the great and terrible Day of the Lord. And there will be deliverance for the survivors of that Day, even though their wound be incurable. For I the Lord God will make myself known to them.
Read the truth of genocide in Canada and globally at: www.itccs.orgwww.hiddennolonger.com
(includes documentary film Unrepentant)www.hiddenfromhistory.orgwww.KevinAnnett.com
"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man"
- Thomas Jefferson
See this introductory video on The Canadian Holocaust: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqPIh-267fg&feature=related
Identified grave site at Residential School
Vaccinations or innoculations?
Comment by Terrace Daily on 17th April 2012
Vaccinations were provide to white settlers. Innoculations were provided to indians.
Britain outlawed innoculations to white folk decades earlier as it was generally terminal.
Cowpox, a vaccination, was a relatively harmless disease which provided immunity to smallpox.
What Dr. Helmcken did in the 1860's was infect the indians with smallpox by innoculation. Then sent them all back to the Northwest to spread it to the rest.
It is a crime Canadians all wish to pretend did not happen.
We dig up graves of dead sled dogs in Whistler employing international forensics experts and completely ignore the estimated 50, 000 dead indian children from residential schools.
Cognitive dissonance thrives.
Facts or fictions - One mans truth is anothers lie
Comment by Terrace Daily on 17th April 2012
Just like the downing of the world trade centers in New York City, journalists quickly ignore building seven. Why?, because the evidence isn't there? or because it is simply not acceptable to address such an anomoly?
Mr Annett offers hundreds of pages of evidence and has extensive interviews online with native supporters.
We don't accept everything as fact and offer up all sides. If you would follow the links you would see we offer up both sides of the issue for readers to judge for themselves.
A great friend once said, "I never read anything I am sure to agree with." He said this to demonstrate it was a waste of time to read opinions the same as he already had.
Might I suggest you actually read works such as Annetts to challenge your own precepts?
From a UVic compilation a summary of small pox indifference
Comment by Terrace Daily on 17th April 2012
According to the Daily British Colonist in 1862, from
"Were it likely that the disease would only spread among the Indians, there might be those among us like our authorities who would rest undisturbed, content that smallpox will rid this community of a moral ulcer (Indians) that has festered at our doors through the last four years."
This was certainly the suspicion of the Native people themselves as reflected by the reaction of several Nuu-chah-nulth who:
called on the Governor, and said that they had been deputized by their tribe to ascertain whether there was any truth in a story told them by some white scamps that Gov. Douglas was about to send the smallpox among them for the purpose of killing off the tribe and getting their land. They were assured that they had been hoaxed and left the next day for their home.
Although the Nuu-chah-nulth had been reassured, their concerns were well founded. Although slow to act, the authorities eventually did exactly what they said they wouldn’t. The Native people in Victoria forced to leave their camp, were escorted by two gunboats, the H.M.S. Grappler and H.M.S. Forward,
"in order to render assistance to the police should any obstreperous conduct on the part of the Indians occur."
Then, just in case they should return, all their dwellings were burned.
The Daily Press chastised the government for their policies (or lack thereof):
Then, when the disease raged among them, when the unfortunate wretches were dying by scores ... then the humanizing influence of our civilized Government comes in - not to remedy the evil that had brought it about - not to become the Good Samaritan, and endeavor to ameliorate the effects of the disease by medical exertion, but to drive these people away to death, and to disseminate the fell disease along the coast. To send with them the destruction perhaps of the whole Indian race in the British Possessions on the Pacific... The authorities have commenced the work of extermination - let them keep it up... Never was there a more execrable Indian policy than ours.
The Daily Press, April 28, 1862
We are happy to state that the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Pemberton, has taken immediate steps for the removal of all the Injdians at present in town, with the exception of those who are in the employment of the whites. The Tsimpsean tribe have one day given them to leave this portion of the Island, and one of the gun-boats will take up a position opposite the camp to expedite their departure. Sergeant Blake will have the direction of the force necessary to carry out the views of the authorities, and men will be stationed at the bridge, and other main entrances to the town, to prevent any Indian entering. This extreme step has been taken none too soon, as both yesterday and to-day several of the Tsimpsean tribe came into town with all their baggage and equipments, and established themselves in houses. The Songish Indians express their intention of leaving for San Juan Island in a day or two.
The evidence of whites purposefully spreading disease
Comment by Terrace Daily on 17th April 2012
From the Victoria Colonist, June 13 1864, by Alfred Waddington regarding the Bute Inlet massacure
"The Bute Inlet Massacre and Its Causes"
Did not the whites also, about the same time, bring the small-pox to Bella-Coula where it [has?] spread to Nacoutloon, and as far as the Benshee and Chisient Lakes, when myself saw the graves of perhaps 500 Indians; and was not one-third of the population carried off by that first visitation; for there was a second one of which I shall have to speak presently?
And did not the white settlers communicate another contagion to those tribes, of which the second Chief at Bella Coula is now slowly dying?
And did not two of the upper Chilcoatens, who were foremost in the massacre at Bute Inlet (one of them with the very wide mouth), come down so diseased? and were they not furnished with medicine, and kindly taken care of in the camp, doing nothing, and at my expense for more than a month before the murder?
Whilst the small-pox was raging it is well known that the Indians could hardly muster courage to bury their dead; but they carried the bodies out into the bush, packed up the infected blankets, and deposited them by their side. Little by little, however, the contagion ceased, and the survivors again began to breathe. In the meanwhile a settler, who is still at Bella Coula, made a bargain to marry a pretty young Indian girl, according to the Indian fashion. This was willingly consented to, and the relations made their presents of blankets to the bridegroom, to the amount of several dozen all of which were to be returned in a month or so, in the proportion of two for one, Indian fashion. And there was great feasting at the expense of the Indians, and the bridegroom took his wife home. He was to receive vast quantities of blankets and rich presents from Victoria, by the first schooner, which never came! and at the end of four months the relations had to take the poor girl back again, dishonored. Was that a provocation, or not?
And did not a certain Mr. N-____ live for a whole year at the expense of the Indians, telling them he was a great Tyhee sent out by the government, and that he would shortly receive any amount of blankets and previsions? And did he not persuade them to build him a large store, some 30 feet by 40, the Indians contributing the split boards from their own huts? For all of which he gave each of them an acknowledgment for twenty or more blankets, as the case might be, payable on arrival from Victoria, which arrival never took place, and the scrip is still in the hands of the Indians?
And did not about the same time one Angus McLeod and another named Taylor go and collect those same infested blankets in the bushes, which the Indians had deposited with the bodies of three men dead of the small-pox, and put them up carefully as new ones and sell them again to the Indians which brought on a second contagion, carrying off another third of the population, and Angus McLeod, the perpetrator into the bargain, as he well deserved.
And there is so much more if one has the desire to truly investigate. Why is the world so willing to highlight and repeat to tragedies of the Germans when the Canadians were even more focused on exterminating a single entire race. The Germans didn't focus only on the Jews during WWII. James Douglas and his ilk focused singularily on extermination, "solving the indian problem" as he called it.
BC is a very special case - and it continues today unabated. We wrote about it in 2008 here -
and we replied to critiques here after the above was published here -
There is a great quote by a United Church minister. From the church who critiques Kevin Annetts work so visciously. No flippin' wonder!
"The problems with the Indians is one of morality and religion. They lack the basic fundamentals of civilized thought and spirit, which explains their child-like nature and behavior. At our school we strive to turn them into mature Christians who will learn how to behave in the world and surrender their barbaric way of life and their treaty rights which keep them trapped on their land and in a primitive existence. Only then will the Indian problem in our country be solved" (Rev. A. E. Caldwell to Indian Agent P.D. Ashbridge, Ahousat, BC, November 12, 1938).
Yes he used the very same words as did James Douglas did about 80 years earlier. And Douglas worked for the Hudson Bay Company most of his life before becoming Gov. James Douglas of Victoria. His job was ensuring profits for the company. Douglas was likely the best friend the indians ever had up to the present day and he wasn't good. From the Department of Indian Affairs read some facinating history here.
Good for Kevin.
Comment by Skeena River Indian on 16th April 2012
At least some one has the will to make things better.
Another white man Representing??
Comment by anonymous on 14th April 2012
Please stop acting like you represent all First Nations. You do not represent me. Never have, never will. When the First Nations step up and represent themselves, when someone like you,Kevin, are not so arrogant as to assume you represent us, then I will pay attention. No white men representing First Nations Women and children please! What a joke, no wonder no one takes you serious. Go away white man! This is like another assault every time I read your garbage.
Ed Note: This is being posted to demonstrate how racism is not a one way street. Should a man not defend a woman who was raped because he isn’t a woman? Should the black slaves not be assisted by the white underground in Canada a century ago? A real Indian knows that no one is different than anyone else in the eyes of the creator. Should an elder only be defended by elders? Should the Japanese who were interned during WWII only be defended by Japanese? Do you now understand how racist your comments appear? Racists and bigots also come in every colour and creed. When anyone stands up for what he or she believes is right; takes a position and speaks his or her mind, he/she should be commended for at least being brave to expose themselves to this type of attack. And for not be so cowardly as to hide behind “Anonymous”. If you were truly to be respected you would use your real name. Only bullies and useless citizens attack anonymously.