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American Indian Genocide

Mass grave for the Lakota dead after
the massacre at Wounded Knee Creek

THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF THE AMERICAS

"The degrading experience of Residing in Caucasian Countries, that Europeans founded on your ancestral lands, which they appropriated by brute force for themselves, where the existence of your Race is considered of no value"

“The people of our Frontier carry on private expeditions against the Indians, and kill them whenever they meet them. And I do not believe there is a jury in all of Kentucky who would punish a man for it.” - John H. - Major, U.S .Army

“Damn any man who sympathizes with Indians. I have come to kill Indians, and believe it is right and honorable to use any means under God’s Heaven to kill them.” - Colonel John Chivington

From 1492 to the late 1900s, throughout the Americas, the killing and raping and robbing of American Indians by Caucasians did not result in very much, or any, negative consequences for the perpetrators. The reason why such barbarous injustice prevailed for the better part of five centuries is laid bare by the Caucasian mindset described in the next two paragraphs.

This statement, "No state can achieve proper culture, civilization, and progress ... as long as Indians are permitted to remain." although articulated by U.S. President Martin Van Buren in 1837 it lays bare the predominate White supremacist genocidal mentality that the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas have had to contend with since Columbus landed in 1492.

In April 1850, the California legislature passed a law that stated "In no case shall a white man be convicted of any offense upon the testimony of an Indian " Thus, if any case was brought to trial any white men who raped, killed, enslaved Indians or illegally took their lands, they were not found guilty simply because no Indian would or could testify". In this case it was a written law, but, realistically, across the Americas, the same law prevailed, albeit, mostly unwritten.

I used the before mentioned examples to describe the White supremacist mentality that the Indigenous peoples of the Americas have had to contend with for survival for the better part of five centuries simply because I had them readily available. However, one should not believe for one second that it was only the Caucasians of the United States of America that indulged in such uncivilized behaviour towards American Indians, several works of encyclopedic proportions could be filled with similar activities taken from the archives of other countries of the Americas. For instance, Canada had on it’s books until 1951 a law that prevented Indians from taking legal action against the federal government. Also, up until the 1990s, all programs it enacted to meet it’s Constitutional responsibilities for Indians were begot to realize the eventual resolving of it's "Indian Problem" by the extermination of it’s American Indian population by assimilation.

The following are examples of Canadian white supremacist mentality at the highest level of Canadian government.

Quoted from an address by Sir John A. MacDonald, Canada’s First Prime Minister, to the Canadian House of Parliament, July 6, 1885, - regarding the Indian situation in the United States and Canada: "...that we have been pampering and coaxing the Indians; that we must take a new course, we must vindicate the position of the white man, we must teach the Indians what law is..." "...along the whole frontier of the United States there has been war; millions have been expended there; their best and their bravest have fallen. I personally know General Custer, and admired the gallant soldier, the American hero; yet he went, and he fell with his band, and not a man was left to tell the tale -- they were all swept away..."

Sir Edward Lytton, co-founder of the British colony of British Columbia, in his book The Coming Race - 1868 "Colonization is civilization ~ If we, the superior race, take the land of other races, we must utterly destroy the previous inhabitants."

A sample of the sincerity of Caucasians who negotiated Treaties with North American First Nations

"Treaties were never made to be kept, but to serve a present purpose, to settle a present difficulty in the easiest manner possible, to acquire a desired good with the least possible compensation, and then to be disregarded as soon as this purpose was tainted and we were strong enough to enforce a new and more profitable arrangement." “The more Indians we kill this year, the fewer we will need to kill the next.”

General William Tecumseh Sherman

“I intend if possible to keep up a good correspondence with the Saint John's Indians, a warlike people, tho' Treaties with Indians are nothing, nothing but force will prevail.”

Governor Edward Cornwallis - British Governor of Nova Scotia, 1749 - 1752

The Reverend Martin Luther King made the following observation about the founding of the United States of America - an observation that I find equally applicable to the founding of Canada:

"Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race. Even before there were large numbers of Negroes on our shores, the scar of racial hatred had already disfigured colonial society. From the sixteenth century forward, blood flowed in battles over racial supremacy. We are perhaps the only nation which tried as a matter of national policy to wipe out its indigenous population. Moreover, we elevated that tragic experience into a noble crusade. Indeed, even today we have not permitted ourselves to reject or to feel remorse for this shameful episode. Our literature, our films, our drama, our folklore all exalt it."

The Destruction and Depopulating of the Indigenous
Civilizations of the Americas by European Invaders

“Until the Lion has his historian, the hunter will always be the hero” (Unknown.) The Lion today will be the American Indian, and on his behalf I will present an American Indian perspective about the European Invasion of the Americas, and the consequent near fatal disastrous results it had for our civilizations.

The following is a slightly modified version of an Anti-Racism Lecture that I gave on March 22, 2011, at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia,

By Mi’kmaq Elder Dr. Daniel N. Paul, C.M., O.N.S.

NOTE: In this paper the term American Indian is applicable to all of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas.

The main topic of my commentary today will be about the Hidden History of the Americas, and the Conspiracy of Silence that keeps it out of Eurocentric Education Systems, and hidden safely away in the Archives of Canada, the United States, the Vatican, France, Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, and far to many other countries to mention here.

Yesterday, March 21st, was the date that the United Nations set aside in 1966 to remind humanity each year thereafter that we have a moral obligation to work diligently for the Elimination of Racism around the world. Today, I’ll provide you with some of the highlights of the true histories of the invasion and colonizing of the Americas by Europeans, which I hope will provide a small forward step in that direction. My presentation is designed to put on the table for discussion a long denied fact; the dispossessing of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas by Europeans, and the near extermination of them in the process, is the greatest inhuman barbarity that this World has ever known.

The following are some of the major tragic consequences that stem from the European invasion. First and foremost the suffering that it caused American Indians over the centuries is beyond measurement, and the number that perished because of it is so immense that uncountable millions is the only reasonable estimate that can be given! Besides out and out Genocide, starvation, which was caused by the deliberate destruction of Indigenous trading patterns and food supplies, took a heavy toll (“The buffalo hunters have done more to settle the vexed Indian question than the entire regular army! For the sake of lasting peace, let them kill, skin and sell until the buffalos are exterminated!” - General Phil Sheridan - US Army.) Another item that took a heavy toll was malnutrition. It started shortly after the invasion's onset and slowly became universally widespread among the Indigenous Peoples of the two Continents and continued until recent times. Initially, it was caused by food supply destruction, but later the major cause was the near starvation rations passed out to them by Caucasian governments - in a weakened state even common illnesses were very often deadly. People sold into slavery was also a hugh factor. Then we must not forget the hundreds of thousands of American Indians who died at the hands of brutal Caucasian governments during the 1900s, in such places as Guatemala, where they were the majority population fighting the minority for representation. Notable, is the fact that Caucasian Canadian and American politicians turned a blind eye to the atrocities that their peers were committing in these countries, probably justifying their non-interference by labelling the rebellions communist inspired.

Before laying out some facts to support my previous statement I’ll provide a sampling of pre-Columbian American Indian statistics and accomplishments.

In 1492, when the European invasion of the Americas was instigated by a human error that saw Christopher Columbus get lost at sea, while trying to reach the Indies, and making landfall instead in the Americas, the two Continents were not, as some would have us believe, two vast and vacant land masses that were created by the Great Spirit for the specific purpose of enriching Europeans. In fact, both Continents were widely populated by humans who were citizens of hundreds of well established diverse civilizations - a statement of fact that may not set well with those who buy into the White Supremacist belief that the inhabitants of the two Continents were not civilized human beings but savage animals.

Unfortunately, because of the lack of reliable statistics the number of humans that were residents of the Americas in 1492 can only be estimated. Thus, over the eons, using various methods, experts have made estimates that vary widely - a few million to a hundred million. However, I believe, due to the fact that the vast land mass was populated from the Arctic to the tip of South America, including deserts, islands, swamps, Jungles, and mountains, that a total population estimate of 100 million would not be far of.

The citizens of these Nations spoke hundreds of different languages and resided in societies that covered the spectrum - hunter gatherer to sophisticated city dwellers. Farms that fed thousands of citizens of these Nations existed, and many cities had large populations. The norms of human interaction such as marriage, divorce, social assistance, etc., were in place. Such disciplines as engineering, astrology, medicine, etc., were available for educational pursuit in many societies. Calendars, suspension bridges, and record keeping, etc., were also part of the fabric of many societies. Trading patterns between most Nations were developed and well established.

Politics ranged from democratic to autocratic. For instance the Aztecs, Inca and Maya lived under emperors, while most of the North American Nations were democratic. In fact, shortly after the invasion started, the democratic ideals of these Nations soon gave rise to the democratic aspirations of long oppressed Europeans. Proof of it lies in the fact that both the Constitution and Bill of Rights of the United States of America were modeled to a large extent after the democratic ideals and laws of Indigenous American Nations, in particular an Iroquoian law entitled “The Great Law of Peace”. The before mentioned adoption of American Indian democratic values and ideals was officially acknowledged for the first time by Caucasians when the US Congress did it by Resolution in November1988.

Over ten thousand years ago American Indian horticulturists engineered a plant they christened Maize, commonly known today as corn. In modern times the harvest of corn provides approximately 21 percent of human nutrition across the Globe. Interestingly, it took until 2010 before modern science could finally figure out how they did it. Further, American Indians were very ingenious in domesticating food sources; including corn, they domesticated nine of the most important food crops that feed and sustain the modern world’s population.

Another long ignored fact to ponder. Over five thousand years ago the Indigenous People of California, utilizing a process they had perfected to take the bitterness out of Acorns , were milling flour out of them. To assure a reliable supply of acorns they grew and groomed large orchards of Oak trees. This was at a time when many Europeans were still hanging out in caves.

The before-mentioned items are just a tiny example of some of the positive societal information that is readily available about the Nations of the pre-Columbian Americas, but, of course, it is not taught in schools or widely publicized. Thus, due to the lack of teaching and publicizing, I venture to state without hesitation that just about everybody attending this session, until I mentioned them, did not know any of the facts just relayed. Which begs the question; in view of the fact that the information just mentioned is readily available to educate, why is it excluded? The answer will be revealed by the time I finish.

QUESTION: Why does the racism that degrades American Indians continue to blatantly exist within the fabric of the modern Nations of the Americas? The answer is simple; most of the modern Nations of the Americas, due to their Eurocentric founding, will not willingly do what good conscience and justice demands; teach the truth about the European invasion and colonization of the two Continents. This course of action, no matter how demeaning to the European founders of their societies it is, is a moral obligation that these modern Nations, if they ascribe to being civilized societies, should no longer ignore and resist!

In his discourse, "Lessons at the Halfway Point," Michael Levine accurately identifies with this gem of wisdom why intolerance exists: "If you don't personally get to know people from other racial, religious or cultural groups, its very easy to believe ugly things about them and make them frightening in your mind."

A sound piece of wisdom. If after 1492, instead of illegally appropriating and colonizing the territories of the sovereign Indigenous Nations of the Americas, Europeans had followed the advice it contains, and had gotten to know and had accepted Indigenous Americans as equals, a peaceful interaction between American Indians and Europeans would have occurred. However, instead of civilized interaction they adopted White supremacist racist beliefs that led them to depict American Indians, and later the Africans they imported into the Americas from Africa to be their slaves, as bloodthirsty inhuman savages - false depictions of both Peoples that have continuously been passed along from Caucasian generation to generation for the better part of five centuries. If white supremacists attitudes had not prevailed, both peoples of colour would not have suffered the indescribable hells that they suffered throughout the Americas until recent times and, in far too many cases, still suffer.

However, if at that time in history, Europeans had been civilized enough to accept all fellow human beings as equals, as did American Indians, they wouldn’t have in the first place been occupied with “discovering” and stealing the properties that belonged to other sovereign Nations. And, without apparent conscience, while in the process of illegally appropriating, barbarously decimating their populations.

But, with racial superiority notions prevailing, the European invaders utilized two very effective white supremacist creations to justify their invasion of the generally peaceful Nations of the Americas, and the pillaging of them. Without conscience, demonizing propaganda (Example) was created and used to dehumanize American Indians, and the Doctrine of Discovery, a Papal document that stated that non-Christians could not own land, was used to give a smidgeon of legality and a Christian blessing to the stealing of American Indian National territories, and the carnage that the invaders visited upon the citizens of the land they stole.

Therefore, in view of the onslaught that they were facing, it should come as no surprise that the citizens of the American Nations, who were being butchered, robbed and dispossessed by invaders that were armed to the teeth with lethal weaponry, fought back heroically to preserve their freedom and countries. The twisted result of the before mentioned, in view of white supremacist attitudes prevailing, does not surprise either, but it does defy logical rational reasoning. Because American Indians fought the brutal European invaders to preserve the territory and freedom that the Great Spirit had given them, the American Indian resisters were, and still are depicted by many as the villains. Thus, when a logical and reasonable person, with honesty contemplates the result, he/she cannot help but conclude that it is incredible in the extreme to find that in the overall scheme of things the American Indian victims are the villains, while the European bandits are the heros. Such an outcome makes as much sense as would a murder victim’s family being ostracized and victimized because they caused discomfort for the murderer.

Related to the prevalent white supremacist attitudes that predominated among Caucasians during colonial times, it was rare indeed to find a prominent colonial official who had the humanity to see, and the courage to discuss openly, the justification of American Indians fighting tooth and nail to keep their Nations intact and to preserve their freedom. In fact, the only written statement that I’ve come across during my reading of hundreds of thousands of pages of history books, colonial documents etc., which acknowledges the right and the justice of the American Indian’s fight for their land and for their freedom, was the following made in 1867 by Nova Scotia’s Honourable Joseph Howe.

“The Indians (Mi’kmaq) who fought your forefathers were open enemies, and had good reason for what they did. They were fighting for their country, which they loved, as we have loved it in these latter years. It was a wilderness. There was perhaps not a square mile of cultivation, or a road or a bridge anywhere. But it was their home, and what God in His bounty had given them they defended like brave and true men. They fought the old pioneers of our civilization for a hundred and thirty years, and during all that time they were true to each other and to their country, wilderness though it was....”

Greed was the main motivation for the horrors that were visited upon the Peoples of the Americas by the European invaders. Their thirst and craving for power and riches were insatiable; the more acquired the more wanted.

Sioux Chief Sitting Bull aptly described it: “The love of possessions is a disease with them. They take tithes from the poor and weak to support the rich who rule. They claim this mother of ours, the Earth, for their own and fence their neighbours away. If (North) America had been twice the size it is, there still would not have been enough; the Indian would still have been dispossessed."

The only modern comparison I can think of, without the carnage of course, is the Wall Street bankers, who almost brought the world economy down in 2008 by the irresponsible fiscal actions they took to enrich themselves over the prior decade or so. During that period, in careless disregard of their financial responsibilities to society, they designed and implemented schemes that were geared almost entirely towards trying to satisfy their blind senseless greedy desire to accumulate more wealth that they didn't need. The human suffering from it has been tremendous worldwide, massive unemployment, tens of thousands have lost their homes, and in 2011, millions are still unemployed.

Conversion to Christianity did not help American Indians survive. In fact, the atrocious treatment that they suffered at the hands of Caucasians before conversion continued unabated after conversion. For instance, the Mi’kmaq began to convert in 1610, but, during the 1700s, their land was still being taken without their consent and without compensation, and they were subjected to attempts to exterminate them. Within the records of the modern Nations of the Americas rests many accounts of some of the gruesome methods utilized by Christian stalwarts to convert the “Pagans”.

Montezuma's death provides a good example of colonial Christian thinking at work. His jailors, after holding him prisoner for several years, tried to use him to quell a Mexican uprising against Spanish rule, at which event he was wounded and died a few days later. Quoted from Access Genealogy:

“As a last resort, the great king himself, decked in his robes of state, was taken to the tower from which he had before succeeded in quieting the angry populace. The multitude listened with deferential awe, but when they heard again the palpable falsehood that he staid among the Spaniards by his own free will, reverence gave way to contempt and indignation. Revilings and reproaches were followed by a shower of stones and arrows. The attendant soldiers in vain interposed their shields to protect the emperor: he fell, severely wounded upon the head by a stone. The crowd now retired appalled at the sacrilege that they had committed. But the work was done: the miserable Montezuma, overcome with rage, mortification, and despair, would accept of no assistance, either surgical or spiritual, from the Spaniards. In three days, says de Soils, "lie surrendered up to the devil the eternal possession of his soul, employing the latest moments of his breath in impious thoughts of sacrificing his enemies to his fury and revenge."

There are several stories about how Montezuma actually died. A hideous account is that Cortez, growing fed up with the Emperor's complete control and influence over his people, arranged to have him executed by having a red hot iron rod inserted into his rectum.

Germ Warfare was used by the colonials to try to exterminate American Indian populations, the preferred method was Small Pox infection. The following quotes are extracted from exchanges between the Commander-in-Chief of British forces in North America, General Jeffrey Amherst , and Colonel Henry Bouquet, which were traded between them during July 1763. They give an excellent example of inhuman racist mentality in action.

Amherst: "Could it not be contrived to send the Smallpox among the disaffected Tribes of Indians?"

Bouquet: "I will try to inoculate the Indians with some blankets that may fall into their hands, and take care not to get the disease myself."

Amherst: "You will do well to try to inoculate the Indians by means of blankets."

Amherst’s favourite degrading label for American Indians was that they were an execrable race. In spite of the before-mentioned, and the fact that after they exchange their memos, many citizens of American Indian Nations were dying from the disease, Amherst defenders state it is only circumstantial evidence.

Before I get to the Mi’kmaq experience, I want to provide a few examples of other atrocities suffered by American Indians.

The Trail of Tears: The Cherokee of Georgia were rounded up in 1838, and during the winter months herded to Oklahoma. En route, out of a starting number of approximately 15,000, over five thousand perished. Many Nations were exterminated by the invaders, for instance the Beothuk and the Taino. So many disappeared that Shawnee Chief Tecumseh observed: "Where are the.... many other once powerful tribes of our people? They have vanished before the avarice and the oppression of the white man, as snow before a summer sun." A comprehensive list of the barbarities visited upon the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, which would also include many horrors that occurred during the more enlightened 1900s, and short descriptions of them, would require several works of encyclopedic proportions!

This statement "The Indians' disappearance from the human family will be no great loss to the world. I do not think them, as a race, worth preserving" by Henry Clay, American Secretary of State, 1825/29, a man idolized by Abraham Lincoln, and a strong believer in National Socialism and a complete racist in all references to the American Indian, further demonstrates the predominate White supremacist genocidal mentality that the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas have had to contend with over the centuries since 1492.

Canada, is country that was created by the British by dispossessing thirty four American Indian Tribes of their territories, it is also a land that has genocidal efforts in it’s history. For instance, in efforts to try to exterminate the Mi'kmaq, there were two proclamations issued by British colonial authorities that set monetary bounties for harvesting their scalps. The first, issued by Massachuetts Bay Colonial Governor William Shirley, in 1744, included bounties for the scalps of men, women, and children. The second, issued by Nova Scotia Colonial Governor Edward Cornwallis , also included bounties for women and children. Gorham's Rangers was the British Militia that was given prime rights to be the foremost harvester of the scalps of mostly innocent Mi'kmaw, barbarous to say the least! A third, issued in 1756, by Governor Charles Lawrence, was for men only, however, it is not too far fetched to state that many bounty hunters would have still believed that the all inclusive bounties for Mi'kmaq scalps were still in effect. Also, by 1829, the Beothuk were exterminated.

I'll use the Mi'kmaq experience of life under Caucasian rule to demonstrate how American Indians suffered from neglect and declined in numbers because of it.

On June 25, 1761, a Burying of the Hatchet Ceremony was held at the Governor's farm in Halifax, the British representative was Governor Jonathan Belcher, the Mi’kmaq were represented by several Chiefs. As the Ceremony progressed, several Peace and Friendship treaties were signed between the parties. It did not spell relief and prosperity for the Mi’kmaq. From this point to the late 1940s, they lived in a state of near starvation, malnutrition was rampant. The following are a few examples of the extent of the suffering of the People under British rule, which are quoted from reports that widely respected Caucasian Indian Superintendents submitted to Colonial Governments.

In 1774, "a Bill to prevent the destruction of moose, beaver, and muskrat in the Indian hunting ground was introduced in the legislature, but was defeated." The majority of legislators did not want to provide the Mi'kmaq with even this small measure of comfort. However, White settlers in many instances did supply some relief to the destitute and starving People. While they did so the government disregarded petitions and reports coming in from across the province that depicted the horrifying state of affairs that existed. Even reports of people living in wigwams completely naked and without sustenance in winter brought no relief.

George Monk, Superintendent of Indian Affairs at the time, had forwarded many petitions from settlers that begged the government to help the Mi'kmaq. The government responded by providing only minimal rations from a budget of £100 per year. One settler described in a petition of January 1794 just how desperate the situation was: "A great many Micmac have died for want of victual ... notwithstanding the little they get from the Superintendent ... if they have not some more general relief they and their wives and children must in a few years all perish with cold and hunger in their own country."

Joseph Howe, who was Indian Superintendent in 1843, said of the Mi’kmaq plight in a report he made to the Nova Scotia colonial government:

“At this rate (of population decline) the whole Race would be extinct in 40 years, and half a Century hence the very existence of the Tribe would be as a dream and a tradition to our Grandchildren, who would find it difficult to imagine the features or dwelling of a Micmac, as we do to realize those of an Ancient Breton.... Assuming the statistics of 1838 as a basis of a calculation, and deducting 10 percent, your Lordship will perceive that there must be at least 1,300 Souls still in this Province, appealing to the sympathies of every honourable mind by the contrast of their misfortunes with our prosperity, their fading numbers with our numerical advancement, their ignorance and destitution with the wealth and civilization which surrounds and presses upon them from every side.”

The Superintendent of Indian Affairs in 1848, Abraham Gesner, was condemnatory of the meagerness of government assistence offered to the Mi'kmaq in the reports he sent to the British colonial government about the population decline of the Mi’kmaq. Gesner, 1797-1864, was a medical doctor, a fellow of the Geological Society, a scientist, inventor and author. His most famous output was the development of kerosene, which laid the foundation for our modern petrochemical industry. The following are excerpts from his reports:

“Unless the progress of their annihilation is soon arrested, the time is close at hand, when ... the last of their race, to use their own idea, "will sleep with the bones of their fathers." Unless the vices and diseases of civilization are speedily arrested, the Indians ... will soon be as the Red Men of Newfoundland, or other Tribes of the West, whose existence is forever blotted out from the face of the Earth.

"It might be supposed that after their wars . . . and encounters with the whites had terminated, the Aborigines would multiply, yet experience has proved exactly the reverse. . . . Exposed to the inclemency of the weather, and destitute of the proper diet and treatment required for contagious diseases, numbers are swept off annually by complaint unknown to them in their state. . . .

"From the clearing and occupation of the forests, the wild domain of the moose and caribou has been narrowed. Being hunted by the dogs of the back settlers, these animals have become scarce - thus the Indian has been deprived of his principal subsistence, as well as the warm furs that in olden times lined his wigwam. Indigenous roots once highly prized for food have been destroyed by domestic animals. . . . These united causes have operated fearfully, and have reduced the whole tribe to the extreme of misery and wretchedness. . . .

"Almost the whole Micmac population are now vagrants, who wander from place to place, and door to door, seeking alms. The aged and infirm are supplied with written briefs upon which they place much reliance. They are clad in filthy rags. Necessity often compels them to consume putrid and unwholesome food. The offal of the slaughter-house is their portion. Their camps or wigwams are seldom comfortable, and in winter, at places where they are not permitted to cut wood, they suffer from the cold. The sufferings of the sick and infirm surpass description, and from the lack of a humble degree of accommodation, almost every case of disease proves fatal. . .

“During my inquiries into the actual state of these people in June last, I found four orphan children who were unable to rise for the want of food - whole families were subsisting upon wild roots and eels, and the withered features of others told too plainly to be misunderstood that they had nearly approached starvation. . . ."

The Mi'kmaq population of Nova Scotia remained almost stationary, approximately 1400, until the Canadian government starting providing more nutritious diets and better medical care in the mid-1940s. As a result, the population in 2011 is around 15,000.

NOTE: Most of the historical facts that were verbally provided to the attendees from memory about the Mi'kmaq Nation, during my discourse, can be found at the following URLs. (Links to other URLs describing British barbarities are included in the United Nations URL)

United Nations Genocide Convention

Mi'kmaq Culture

The following historical data reveals that American Indians were the victims of the two largest so-called “legal” mass executions in Canadian and American history.

United States: On December 26, 1862, thirty eight members of the Sioux Nation, which had been fighting the US army for it's survival, were, at the order of President Abraham Lincoln, simultaneously executed by hanging.

Canada: On November 27, 1885, eight members of the Cree First Nation, whose citizens were suffering from starvation, were executed for fighting for survival. That the Canadian executions also had political approval is borne out by what Canadian Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald wrote in a white supremacist letter that he sent on November 20, 1885 to the commissioner of Indian Affairs, which was penned a week prior to the executions: "The executions of the Indians ought to convince the Red Man that the White Man governs."

American Indian Invisibility

This statement, “....the greatest danger of oppression lies where bias is so pervasive as to be invisible...,” coined by Dalhousie University Professor Susan Sherwin, concisely identifies the type of racism that American Indians are contending with in modern times. Her short concise statement is by far the best I’ve ever read on the subject.

In a nutshell, the pervasive invisible bias that still victimizes American Indians with the unwarranted designation “savage heritage,” a designation originating from the demonizing propaganda of European colonial times, has been so deeply imbedded in the sub-conscious of succeeding generations of Caucasians by word of mouth, Eurocentric history books, movies, etc., as the correct depiction of American Indians, that it is almost impossible to get Caucasian society to recognize, and accept that the systemic racism which victimizes First Nations Peoples today actually exists. In plain English, the unwarranted racist European savage designation that we suffer from, because of it’s centuries old passage from generation to generation, is subconsciously considered by many as the true depiction of American Indians.

The before-mentioned assertion of Caucasian denial of American Indian civility, and of Caucasians having little awareness of American Indian history, is a fact highlighted by the following examples of American Indian invisibility - these incidents occurred in Nova Scotia while I was Executive Director of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq . However, it should be kept in mind that if one were to transcribe all similar types of incidents that have occurred over the ages in and around the Americas it would take volumes to do it.

Signs stating, “Annapolis Royal, established 1605, Canada's oldest settlement,” were placed at exits from a newly constructed by-pass express highway of the village of Annapolis Royal. The message did not recognize this fact; Canada had First Nation settlements for uncountable centuries before Europeans began to establish their settlements after 1492.

After hearing about it, and viewing it, I contacted the mayor of the Town of Annapolis Royal, the Warden of Annapolis County, and the Department of Transportation, and voiced my outrage. To their credit, after they were reminded about First Nation existence, the Mayor and Warden were shocked that they had supported the wording of the sign, and that they had not even briefly considered the existence of American Indian Civilizations. Within a few days of my intervention the signs were removed, and I was invited to a joint meeting of the Councils, where both formally apologised for the systemic racist based oversight.

The sign now reads: “Annapolis Royal, established 1605, Stroll Through the Centuries.”

Signs on highway 102, stated: “Bedford, a Stopping Place Since 1503," which ignored the fact that the Mi'kmaq had been using the Bedford location as a stopping place for tens of centuries before Europeans did. The sign wording was recommended for adoption by the Town Council of Bedford by author Elsie Tolson.

To find out why Elsie had not acknowledged Mi’kmaq usage when she coined the phrase, I met with her and pointed out the erroneous message that it portrayed. She was appalled by the fact that she had not taken into consideration the existence of our ancestors. With her cooperation, and the progressive attitude of Bedford’s Town Council, the sign now reads, “Bedford, a Traditional Stopping Place.”

In the 1990s I attended a business persons meeting at the Holiday Inn in Dartmouth. The keynote speaker was an internationally respected Caucasian industry C.E.O. from the United States. He started off his presentation with a statement that came across something like this: “When our ancestors first arrived in the Americas they found two vast and vacant Continents, loaded with immeasurable wealth for the taking.”

Taking exception to the insulting erroneous statement, I immediately rose to my feet and pointed out the error of his ways. He responded by turning red, apologizing profusely for his systemic racist statement, and later he correctly placed the blame for his ignorance where it so rightly belongs, the white supremacist education systems of the Americas, which all but ignore the existence of the robust civilizations that prospered and flourished in the Americas prior to the European invasion.

To have Eurocentric education systems still in place in the Americas in 2011, which by and large ignore the real history of American Indians, is the result of wilful ignorance! I state such because teaching the truth of what transpired during colonial times would not bode well for the reputations of the European colonials, who brutally dispossessed the original inhabitants of the two Continents of their properties and civilizations, and in many cases, their very existence. It should be noted that the destruction was universally successful, of the hundreds of robust civilizations that existed in the Americas in 1492, not one survives intact today.

In 1993 I wrote the first of three editions of a book entitled "We Were Not the Savages," the latest edition was published in 2006. The title, which I used with slight variations for the three editions, poses a question that someday has to be truthfully answered by Caucasians, which is: If not they, who then were the savages? I think the truthful answer is very unspeakable and painful for a great many Caucasians to contemplate and acknowledge.

The continued degrading of American Indian civility that ensues from not teaching the history of the Americas as it transpired, and journeying on with the Eurocentric lies that have passed to-date for history, is unacceptable in societies that proclaim themselves democratic and just. Such an indefensible course only reinforces the systemic racism that was created by colonial propaganda, which will continue to victimize the victims into eternity if not refuted and discarded!

If you wish to test the veracity of what I’ve relayed, I suggest that you journey down Barrington Street to the site where Governor Edward Cornwallis’s statue is located in Cornwallis Park, across from the Westin Hotel, and contemplate and honestly answer the following question (For those from other areas of the Americas do the same with statues of such barbarians as Columbus, Cortez, Colonel John Chivington, General George Armstrong Custer, et al):

If the victims of the Governor’s self admitted attempt to exterminate their race had been from a white race, and not American Indian, a People of colour, would the statue erected in his honour be there? I believe that Caucasians of good conscience would come up with the same answer that I did when I pondered it several decades ago; it would not be there! In my opinion, no nation that self-describes itself as civilized can honor such a man. Honoring him, in view of what he tried to do to the Mi’kmaq, signifies that racism is alive and well in Nova Scotia. The same can be said for jurisdictions across the Americas that honor colonial barbarians.

The following is a prime example of how systemic racism degrades the dignity of American Indians. Quoted from a Denver Post opinion piece:

"Geronimo" for bin Laden offensive

By Simon Moya-Smith

Posted: May 6, 2011

"American Indians expect to be belittled and dehumanized at every turn. We expect to attend schools where the mascot is an Indian named Savage. We expect cutting cultural appropriation by wannabe Indians. But what I, a Lakota, couldn't have anticipated was the ignorance and naivete of President Barack Obama, his administration and the U.S. military.

CNN this week revealed that the military code name for Osama bin Laden was Geronimo, a highly revered historical figure in the American Indian community.

"We've ID'd Geronimo," said a Navy SEAL. A short time later, President Obama and his cohorts nestled in the situation room received confirmation that "Geronimo" was, in fact, dead.

Take a look, folks. This is the face of ignorance.

"This is blatant racism," said Ray Ramirez of the Native American Rights Fund in Boulder. Ramirez added that although the connection made between bin Laden and the honored Apache warrior is brazen, it's nothing new.

"When insurgents leave an area, [the military] will say 'He's gone off the reservation,' " he said. "I really don't know what it's going to take to change things."

What other races of people would sit idly by as such an audacious affront debased one of their honored and respected ancestors? Would the black community have objected if Osama's code name were "Malcolm X"? Would the Hispanic community have taken to the streets if bin Laden was called "Caesar Chavez"? Would whites have protested had Thomas Jefferson been the code name for bin Laden?

I suppose, though, since American Indians make up only 1 percent of the population, there was no real concern that we'd revolt...."

I’ll end with this truism, modern Caucasian citizens of the Americas cannot be held responsible for what their colonial ancestors did in the past, however, they have a responsibility to right the wrongs of history, especially when millions are still negatively affected from the pain and suffering that their ancestors inflicted. When the time arrives where the descendants of the colonials insist that the unvarnished truth about the brutality associated with the European invasion be taught in education systems, and governments comply, then, and only then, will justice finally be done for the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas!

An editied version of the before-mentioned article was published in Settler Colonial Studies Vol 1, No 2 (2011), A Contemporary Phenomenon

The following titles are a few of the positive works available about the Indigenous civilizations of the Americas:

Stolen Continents - By Ronald Wright

We Were Not the Savages - By Daniel N. Paul

1491 - By Charles C. Mann

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee - By Dee Brown

Cornwallis - The Violent Birth of Halifax - By Jon Tattrie

How do we heal trauma suffered by native communities?
GABOR MATÉ

The Globe and Mail, Published Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2016

Gabor Maté is a retired B.C. physician who specializes in addiction.

It is not enough that the Attawapiskat First Nation has declared a state of emergency over the epidemic of suicides and suicide attempts among its youth. Our entire country should declare a state of emergency about the appalling health status, physical and mental, of First Nations and Inuit communities. Would we not have already if, instead of Nunavut or Attawapiskat, it was, say, the teens of Westmount, Forest Hill or Kitsilano who were killing themselves at 10 times the national rate?

I am often asked to visit First Nations communities across Canada to speak about addiction, stress-related illness and child development. The ordinary Canadian citizen simply has no idea, cannot even begin to imagine, what misfortunes, tragedies and other kinds of adversity many native young people experience by the time they reach adolescence – how many deaths of loved ones they witness, what abuse they endure, what despair they feel, what self-loathing plagues them, what barriers to a life of freedom and meaning they face.

At the core of the suicide pandemic is unresolved trauma, passed almost inexorably from one generation to the next, along with social conditions that induce further hopelessness.

The source of that multigenerational trauma is this country's colonial past and its residue in the present. The march of the history and progress Canada celebrates, from which we derive much pride and national identity, meant catastrophe for natives: the loss of lands and livelihood and of freedom of movement, the mockery and invalidation of their spiritual ways, the near-extirpation of their culture, the corruption of their intrafamilial and intracommunal relationships, and finally, for nearly a hundred years, the state-sanctioned abduction, rape, physical abuse and mental torture of their children.

The questions we must ask ourselves nationally are very simple. How do we as a country move to heal the trauma that drives the misery of many native communities? What can be done to undo the dynamics our past has dictated? Some may balk at such inquiry, fearing the discomfort that comes with guilt. However, this is not a matter of communal guilt, but of communal responsibility. It is not about the past. It is about the present. And it is about all of us: When some among us suffer, ultimately we all do.

To begin, native history must be taught fully and in unsparing detail in our schools. All Canadians should know, for example, that 50 years ago it was not unheard of for a four-year-old girl to have a pin stuck in her tongue for the crime of speaking her mother language and later endure serial rape by teachers, religious mentors. Such were the antecedents of today's drug use and suicidal anguish.

The resonant values, brilliant art, stories and wisdom culture of First Nations people should be introduced in Canadian schools. Canadians must be helped to see their First Nations peers in their fullness, which includes their humanity, grandeur, unspeakable suffering and strength.

We must renounce any political, economic or social policy that reinforces the colonial trauma of disempowerment, loss and dispossession. Not another square centimetre of native land must be disturbed, not a blade of grass cut, not one more drop of water diverted, not a millimetre of pipeline laid without First Nations agreement.

Institutions and individuals interacting with native people must become deeply trauma-informed. Judges, teachers, law-enforcement personnel, nurses, doctors, psychiatrists, social workers, public employees, policy-makers all must understand what trauma is, its multiple impacts on human mentality and behaviour, and how to address it. Without such information, as I have witnessed repeatedly, the best-meaning people can unwittingly retraumatize those who can least bear further pain and loss. Practices that devastate families must be stopped, such as the frequent apprehension of children without restorative and compassionate family-building support.

Alternative forms of justice must be developed, aligned with native traditions and in consultation with First Nations. The implicit racism in our law-enforcement institutions must be openly acknowledged and cleansed. Powerfully beneficial traditional healing practices must be researched, taught, encouraged. We need to celebrate the First Nations cultural renaissance, a tribute to human resilience, now taking place.

Economic and social conditions that engender despair must be addressed, with the utmost urgency. If we could spend more than $15-billion on our self-declared mission to help the people of Afghanistan, surely we can find the resources in our rich land to help redeem people whom our history continues to victimize.

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New Spain – Old Horrors

The following is a quote from a timeline of the Christian European Spanish barbarism that was part of the conquering and depopulating of the Americas by Kenneth Humphreys

"The plunder of the empires of the Americas was to good purpose – it allowed Spain to finance religious persecution in Europe for over a century. Spanish wars of conquest included laying waste much of the Netherlands and a disastrous attempt to invade England. By destroying diverse cultures in the New World the Christian conquerors were able not only to eradicate civilizations more ancient than their own but also were able to senselessly erase a vibrant artistic legacy and even scientific knowledge. In their stead the Christian adventurers imposed a racist tyranny and an alien god. Millions were enslaved but their short and brutalized lives had at least known Jesus."

To read more click TIMELINE

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Twentieth Century Medical Experimentation Examples

U.S. Apologizes for Syphilis Tests in Guatemala

By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.

Published: October 1, 2010 New York Times

"It's ironic -- no, it's worse than that, it's appalling -- that, at the same time as the United States was prosecuting Nazi doctors for crimes against humanity, the U.S. government was supporting research that placed human subjects at enormous risk."

DR. MARK SIEGLER, of the Maclean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, on a program in the late 1940's to deliberately infect Guatemalans with venereal diseases, in a test of penicillin.

Canada

Medical experimentation took place in Indian Residential Schools. The following example, reported in the May 8, 2000, issue of Maclean's magazine, makes one wonder whether this is modern Canada or a throwback to the Dark Ages:

“Natives denied dental care - Federal government doctors withheld specialized dental care, such as professional cleaning and treatment of decay, for aboriginal children living in eight residential schools in the 1940s and 1950s to see what the effect would be on their health. The director of the study, Dr. L.B. Pett, said last week that students' teeth and gums were in terrible condition to begin with, and that delaying treatment did not create more decay, but helped keep the study's results accurate."

Such views about experiments using people deemed "inferior" as guinea pigs were expressed by another majority group, the Nazis. As might be expected from a systemically racist society, to my knowledge not one word of condemnation has been uttered about this revelation from any level of government or human rights commission in Canada.

Mi'kmaq Elder Daniel N. Paul

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The following is an excellent example of Caucasian efforts to keep the truth about the European invasion of the Americas out of the school room.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sacred War and Arizona’s Final “Reduccion”

Column of the Americas, June 6, 2011
Sacred War and Arizona’s Final “Reduccion”
By Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez

In Arizona, we are just days away from a momentous ruling: it is expected that on the basis of an illegitimate audit, State Schools Superintendent John Huppenthal – who ran on the promise of eliminating “La Raza,” – will rule Tucson’s Mexican American Studies (MAS) program to be outside of “the law.” The way HB 2281 was designed, the only remedy is elimination.

Incidentally, supporters of the program do not recognize HB 2281 as a legitimate law. In part, this is because this is nothing more than a long line of “laws” meant to ensure our dehumanization. And this is not a new story. A read of Pagans in the Promised Land (Newcomb, S. 2008) gives us this understanding – that what’s happening in Arizona is not simply a civilizational war, but rather a so-called sacred war – the same war that brought us the Inquisition, pitting civilized Christians v. uncivilized heathens. In the Americas, it is part of the deep story about how Europeans (Christians) – via the mind-boggling divine “doctrine of discovery” – claim[ed] the continent and de-rooted its peoples.

In Arizona, it is also about who is legal and who is not and about whose knowledge is legitimate and whose is not.

This cosmic drama has actually been playing out since Biblical times. This imported drama is how we can also come to understand the meaning of Arizona’s final or Ultima Reduccion – the unfinished business of colonization. Spain’s continent-wide policy of reducciones of the 1500s-1800s, was about spiritually killing Indians while creating Christians in their place (American Indians will recognize this as the 19TH and 20TH century boarding school policies: kill the Indian, save the man). The belief was that Europeans were Christian and Indigenous peoples were pagan and thus, Christians had the right to claim the land and the peoples’ souls. A reduccion was also the process by which everything Indigenous was demonized, including the astronomical, mathematical and scientific knowledge contained within the ancient calendars. It also demonized the songs, dances, music, ceremonies, medicine and even the food (amaranth).

The entire 300-year colonization era was one huge reduccion and one huge Auto de Fe. The most infamous Auto de Fe in history was recorded in 1562 at Mani, Yucatan, where Bishop Diego De Landa staged a massive 3-day book burning – proclaiming the ancient codices of the Maya: “Things of the Devil.”

Mexfiles.net

While those policies are officially over, they actually live on. On Dec. 30, 2010, then State Schools Superintendent Tom Horne issued his own 10-page Auto de Fe, declaring Tucson’s MAS program in violation of the 2010 anti-Ethnic Studies HB 2281. He had long charged that Ethnic Studies should be grounded in Greco-Roman values – the foundation of Western Civilization, and nothing else. On that day, he declared MAS outside of civilization and also, outside of the West. On that day, he metaphorically commenced his own book burning, commencing yet another Inquisition, declaring that books such as Rodolfo AcuZa’s Occupied America and Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed promoted hate, segregation and the overthrow of the U.S. government. He also cited hip-hop groups Aztlan Underground and El Vuh for the same.

His declaration actually hearkens back to that “sacred war” brought over by Columbus. On Jan. 3, 2011, Horne read his own Requerimiento; a “legal” finding compelling the district to comply or else. The original 1514 Requerimiento was read in Latin to Indigenous peoples, declaring that if there were no Christians on this land, the land now belonged to the Spanish Crown. If they did not comply, the crown’s representatives would wage merciless war upon them.

On April 26 and then on May 3, the Tucson school board attempted to comply with the state’s wishes by telling the heathens what was good for them (MAS classes were to henceforth become electives) – since peoples less than human can’t think for themselves nor do they possess equal rights. On the 26th, students prevented the school board from meeting by chaining themselves to the board chairs. In response, on May 3, the board authorized a massive show of force (more than 100 police officers, including SWAT units, metal detectors, a helicopter and a bomb squad) to remind us how imposed laws are enforced: through brute force. Seven participants, attempting to speak were arrested, and many youths and elders were roughed up.

When Huppenthal issues his finding – his own Auto de Fe or his own Requerimiento – it will not deter MAS supporters because we too are involved in our own cosmic drama. It comes down to us from the ancient Codex Chimalpopoca (The Legend of the Suns) and the Popul Vuh; it is about how human beings and maiz were created. That knowledge is thousands of years old, it is Indigenous to this continent, it is taught at MAS and freely shared with the world. It is from here that we derive In Lak Ech (You are my other me) and Panche Be (To seek the root of the truth) – concepts that teach us to respect not just all human beings, but all life. It is how we know that we are not heathen, that we are all human and all deserving of our full human rights. It is also why we will not be complicit in our own [final] reduccion.

If the state wants a solution, it will have to speak to us as co-equals and as full human beings.

Rodriguez is a professor at the University of Arizona and can be reached at: XColumn@gmail.com

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Ancient and Modern Barbarism Acknowledged and Atoned for

NOTE: It has often been stated by apologists for the atrocities that were committed by Europeans during their invasion of the Americas that such barbarous behaviour was normal "civilized" behaviour for the times. I beg to disagree, such inhuman behaviour calls into question the very civility of the perpetrators. Without question, men and women of good conscience will agree, that barbarism has been acknowledged and condemned since the beginning of recorded history. Example: the horrors committed by Attila the Hun, the barbarities committed by Roman Empire Emperors, the Inquisition horrors unleashed by Popes of the Roman Catholic Church, etc., the perpetrators are not idolized.

However, in direct contradiction of the before-mentioned, the authorization by Papal Bulls for Europeans to invade other Continents, and to convert by brute force their Indigenous populations to Christianity, and to seize without compensation their territories and wealth, etc., have been not been fully acknowledged and condemned, and the perpetrators are idolized

The following are examples of some of the horrors being acknowledged:

United States of America Apology

Canadian Apology for Indian Residential Schools

New York Times

Majorcan Descendants of Spanish Jews Who Converted Are Recognized as Jews

By DOREEN CARVAJAL

Published: July 10, 2011

Quote

In May, 2011, the regional government of the Balearic Islands became the first to create a memorial ceremony for Jewish descendants, marking the deaths of 37 people who were executed in 1691 by the Inquisition, and expressing regrets for persecution that chueta families suffered through the centuries.

King Herod the Great

Herod's reign ended in terror. The monastery at Qumran, the home of the Essenes, suffered a violent and deliberate destruction by fire in 8 BCE, for which Herod may have been responsible. When the king fell ill, two popular teachers, Judas and Matthias, incited their pupils to remove the golden eagle from the entrance of the Temple: after all, according to the Ten Commandments, it was a sin to make idols. The teachers and the pupils were burned alive. Some Jewish scholars had discovered that seventy-six generations had passed since the Creation, and there was a well-known prophecy that the Messiah was to deliver Israel from its foreign rulers in the seventy-seventh generation more...). The story about the slaughter of infants of Bethlehem in the second chapter of the Gospel of Matthew is not known from other sources, but it would have been totally in character for the later Herod to commit such a terrible act.

Herod was buried in one of the fortresses he had build, Herodion. Few will have wept.

Quoted from a July 12, 2012, Associated Press news-story by AIDA CERKEZ, entitled:

For Srebrenica, the sorrow never ends

"So far 5,325 Srebrenica massacre victims found this way have been laid to rest.

In Washington, President Barack Obama issued a statement honouring the memory of the “8,000 innocent men and boys” massacred in Srebrenica.

“The name Srebrenica will forever be associated with some of the darkest acts of the 20th century,” Obama said, adding that the U.S. “rejects efforts to distort the scope of this atrocity, rationalize the motivations behind it, blame the victims, and deny the indisputable fact that it was genocide.”

Perhaps one day World Governments, including those of Canada and the United States of America, in relation to the European invasion and destruction of the Indigenous civilizations of the Americas, will do the right thing for our ancestors, as Obama did for the victims of barbarous men that died in Srebrenica, and finally "reject efforts to distort the scope of the atrocity, rationalize the motivations behind it, blame the victims, and deny the indisputable fact that it was genocide."

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The New England Company PsyOps - Scammers in Psychological Warfare

Their Charter "provided for the promotion and propagation of the Gospel of Christ unto and amongst the heathen natives in or near New England and parts adjacent in America."

It's noteworthy that their Charter doesn't provide for instilling into the descendants of the Barbarian heathens that invaded from Europe some humanity and humility. I find it hard to believe that even the God they worship would have ever condoned the massacre of millions of the Indigenous People of the Americas and the complete destruction of their property in His name. The more astute description one can use to describe the roots of the horror delivered unto the Americas by European invaders is that it was done by barbarians, motivated by greed and white supremacist beliefs, led by the white man's Devil, doing his evil work, not the work of a caring and loving God! To accuse the Creator of condoning and blessing the inflicting of the barbarity that Europeans carried out in the Americas is to me blasphemy!

Mi'kmaw Elder, (Dr.) Daniel N. Paul, C.M., O.N.S.
October 28, 2012

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Mi'kmaq/Maliseet Nations News, November 2010 Issue

Celebrating European Colonization

By Mi'kmaq Elder Dr. Daniel N. Paul, C.M., O.N.S.

November 16, 2010

Roger Cohen - Columnist for theNew York Times, November 15, 2010. His opinion piece is about how the Palestinians are charting a new effective course that will ultimately give them internationally recognized statehood.

"...That "something" is fundamental: the transition from a self-pitying, self-dramatizing Palestinian psyche, with all the cloying accoutrements of victimhood, to a self-affirming culture of pragmatism and institution-building. The shift is incomplete. But it has won Clinton over. And it's powerful enough to pose a whole new set of challenges to Israel: Palestine is serious now..."

We, the citizens of the First Nations of the Americas, must do what the Palestinians are doing to achieve their goal of effective self government, chart a new course that is built on our cultural heritage, which is the solid effective self-government that our Peoples had developed and implemented before the European invasion.

European Invasion and Colonization

The summer of 2010 saw an event happen in Nova Scotia that happens far too often throughout the Americas, Indigenous Peoples celebrating with European institutions, in particular European royalty and European Christianity, the invasion of the two Continents by Europeans. In July of last summer, such a celebration occurred in the Maritimes, the Mi'kmaq feted the English (British) Crown, as represented by Queen Elizabeth II, and representatives of the Roman Catholic Church. During colonial times these two European institutions were responsible for the destruction of Mi'kmaq civilization as our ancestors knew it, the loss of our country, and the near extermination of our People. I credit such a happening with the fact that our People are largely unaware of the horrors that these two institutions visited upon the Mi'kmaq during European colonial times, and other First Nations of the Americas.

When one takes into account that the true history of the European invasion of the Americas, which relates the barbaric attacks against all of the First Nation civilizations of the two Continents, which were, in the face of far superior European armaments, almost helpless to defend themselves, is mostly unavailable, the before mentioned statement is understandable. The true history, which is not taught in schools, but is readily available if desired, relates that over the passage of time these barbaric assaults resulted in many Indigenous civilizations being exterminated altogether, and the remaining civilizations reduced to near ruin, millions dead, virtually all of their territorial lands, resources, and property stolen, and most survivors today living in destitution. In place of the truth, we get a diet of lies, which is willful blindness on the part of the descendants of the invaders. But this can now be changed, we ourselves can collect the truth, and teach the truth, in particular to our own Peoples.

The before mentioned explanation I've given for why some of our People, and leaders, would celebrate the European colonial invasion, and consequent appropriation of our countries with the two institutions mentioned, and the imposition of foreign ideals, is why I wrote a First Nations History Book and entitled it "We Were Not the Savages" (I encourage all to read it). It's my attempt to set the record straight. I did so because the demonizing colonial propaganda, which dehumanized the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas by depicting them to be bloodthirsty barbarian savages, and is the root cause of the systemic racism that stigmatizes Indigenous Peoples today, is still widespread, and, indefensibly, there is no concerted effort being made by the descendants of the invaders to set the record strait.

Before I go further, I'll provide some information on what the European invaders used during their colonization of the Americas to try to legitimize and justify their barbarity. The following is only an overview, only a book on the subject can relate the full story.

Doctrine of Discovery and Christianity

The origins of the Doctrine of Discovery can be traced back to a Papal Bull (proclamation) issued by Pope Nicholas V in 1452. In it he proclaimed that it was permissible for Christians to claim lands held by non-Christians because only Christians were entitled to hold lands. In 1493, one year after the barbarian Christopher Columbus got lost and landed in the Americas, Pope Alexander VI extended to Spain the right for it to conquer newly-found lands by issuing the papal bull Inter Caetera. This was after Christopher Columbus had already begun appropriating for Spain the lands of the Indigenous People of the Americas. Arguments between Portugal and Spain led to the Treaty of Tordesillas, which clarified that only non-Christian lands could thus be taken, as well as drawing a line of demarcation to allocate potential discoveries between the two powers. It must be noted that in spite of their hatred for the Catholic Church, European Protestant Nations adopted the warped Bulls of the Popes with great enthusiasm, and applied them as enthusiastically as the Catholics did when stealing Indigenous lands.

The Doctrine of Discovery was used when France claimed the land of the Mi'kmaq, which they christened Acadia. In 1618, Marc Lescarbot, a French lawyer, articulated how this warped Christian law legalized France's right to Acadia (now the Canadian Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island): This, by the way, was eight years after Chief Membertou had converted to Christianity.

"The earth pertaining, then, by divine right to the children of God [Christians], there is here no question of applying the law and policy of Nations, by which it would not be permissible to claim the territory of another. This being so, we must possess it and preserve its natural inhabitants, and plant therein with determination the name of Jesus Christ, and of France."

Thus, in 1713, at the end of one of their numerous wars, England and France signed the Treaty of Utrecht, which, unknown to our ancestors, included a provision that transferred the lands of the Mi'kmaq and other First Nations to England.

In view of the White supremacist attitudes prevailing at the time, the fact that Amerindian Nations, including the Mi'kmaq, were left out of the treaty negotiations, not even made aware of its signing, should come as no surprise. A letter from Governor T. Caulfield to Vaudreuil, dated May 7, 1714, attests to the fact that the Mi'kmaq had been left in the dark: "Breach of the treaty of peace and commerce committed by Indians under French government upon a British trading vessel at Beaubassin. Enclosed letter from Pere Felix, giving the Indians' excuse, i.e., that they did not know that the treaty was concluded between the two crowns, or that they were included in it...."

Finally, in 1715, the Mi'kmaq were enlightened. At a meeting with the Mi'kmaq Chiefs two English officers informed them that France had transferred them, and the ownership of their land, to Great Britain via the Treaty of Utrecht, and that King George I was now their sovereign. The Mi'kmaq responded, in no uncertain terms that they did not come under the Treaty of Utrecht, would not recognize a foreign king owning their country and would not recognize him as having dominion over them. The Chiefs then clarified for the English that they had never given over ownership of their land to the French King, or considered themselves to be his subjects, and therefore he had nothing to transfer. With no agreement, open hostilities between the Mi'kmaq and the English resumed. Thus, the die was cast for close to fifty more years of conflict, broken, from time to time by occasional periods of uneasy truce.

After the Mi'kmaq learned that the French had claimed their land and, unbeknownst to them, transferred their territories to Great Britain by treaty two years earlier, the Mi'kmaq directed protests to St. Ovide de Brouillant, Louisbourg's military commander in 1715, and after September 1717, Governor. He responded: "He [the French King] knew full well that the lands on which he tread, you possess them for all time. The King of France, your Father, never had the intention of taking them from you, but had ceded only his own rights to the British Crown." In view of Marc Lescarbot's 1618 legal opinion that France was the owner of Mi'kmaq lands, because the Mi'kmaq were not Christians, and the Treaty transfer provisions, one can easily conclude that Ovide told a bald faced lie to continue France's alliance with the Mi'kmaq.

In the future, before we celebrate anything with the Catholic Church that happened during European colonial times, the Pope should be asked to come to the Americas and publically revoke the Papal Bulls that the European invaders used to steal the lands of the Indigenous Peoples of the two Continents, apologise for the tens of millions that were killed by the European invaders under the umbrella of the Bulls, and the loss of our freedom. And, above all, use the moral authority of his office to pressure the Eurocentric countries that were created in the Americas as a result of the invasion, to begin a process of writing history as it transpired, and discontinue the fairy tales that now pass for the history of the Americas.

Now for the English Crown.

After 1713, Great Britain was hell bent and determined to subjugate the Mi'kmaq and reduce them to beggars in their own land, or exterminate them all-together. Every barbaric means available was put to use to realize it's goal.

The most reprehensible of the methods selected by the British colonial governors of Nova Scotia were proclamations for the scalps of Mi'kmaq men, women and children, a practice that was widely used by British Governors before to decimate, and in several cases exterminate entire Tribes in what is now the eastern states of the United States of America.

Three proclamations for Mi'kmaq scalps were issued by Nova Scotia's British colonial governors. During 1744, the Mi'kmaq had the British fort at Annapolis Royal under siege, which caused the colony's Governor, Paul Mascarene, to request military assistance from the British Governor of the Massachuetts Bay Colony, William Shirley. On November 2, 1744, Shirley responded by declaring war on the Mi'kmaq, and their allies. The war declaration included a provision that provided that cash payments would be paid to those who harvested the scalps of Mi'kmaq men, women and children, and for the scalps of any who were assisting them. Captain John Gorham, who commanded Gorham's Rangers, was sent to Nova Scotia with his men to enforce the declaration. Their barbarities terrified all, including many British subjects.

Shortly after June 21, 1749, when Governor Edward Cornwallis arrived in Nova Scotia to found a settlement of suitable Protestants settlers at Chebucto Harbour, later renamed Halifax, he had English officers meet with the Mi'kmaq Chiefs to inform them once again that the King of England owned their land, and as the owners they were going to start building English settlements. In response, on September 23, 1749, the Mi'kmaq renewed their declaration of war against the British.

On October 1, 1749, Governor Cornwallis convened a meeting of his colonial military government, aboard HMS Beaufort, at anchor in the harbour, to decide upon a response to the Mi'kmaq declaration of war. It was decided not to declare war in return upon the Mi'kmaq, but to treat them as bandits, and offer a monetary reward for their scalps. Thus, on October 2, 1749, Cornwallis issued a proclamation that specified monetary rewards that would be paid to British Subjects that harvested the scalps of Mi'kmaq men, women and children. Geoffrey Plank, a history professor at the University of Cincinnati, labels it "a time when it was a capital offence to be a Mi'kmaq." The stated intent of the policy was to exterminate the Mi'kmaq. The following year, although scalps were being brought into British forts for payment, they apparently were not coming in fast enough, on June 21, 1750 the monetary reward was increased five fold. Cornwallis was removed as governor in 1752, however, before departure he, on July 17, 1752, revoked his bounty proclamations. Obliviously, as I'm writing this in 2010, his extermination plans failed!

Another scalp proclamation was issued in 1756, by Governor Charles Lawrence, this one was only for males over 16 years. It has not been repealed by an Act of Parliament.

On June 25, 1761, some of the Chiefs of the Mi'kmaq Nation gathered at the Governor's farm in Halifax and participated in a Burying of the Hatchet ceremony with British Governor Jonathan Belcher, and also signed several Peace and Friendship Treaties with him. The treaties were afterward ignored until the 1980s, when the Supreme Court of Canada ruled they were valid documents.

From 1761 onward the remaining Mi'kmaq were reduced to poverty, and suffered from starvation and malnutrition, which made any diseases they contracted almost always fatal. In the mid 1800s the situation was so bad, and the population was dwindling so fast (around 1400), that it caused two of the colony's Indian Commissioners, Joseph Howe and Abraham Gesner, to make predictions that the "Tribe would be only a memory if corrective action were not taken." After which, assistance increased somewhat, but did not end starvation.

When Canada was created in1867, by an Act of the British Parliament labelled The British North America Act, the federal government was given responsibility for Indians and Indian lands. Starvation was reduced considerably, however, malnutrition ran rampant up until the 1940s - the remaining population was somewhere around 1500 - to 2000. Finally, after 1946, vastly improved health care and better food supplies provided by the Feds stabilized the population and it started to increase. As a result, today there are somewhere around 25,000 Mi'kmaq. If proper assistance had been provided by the British Colonial Government after 1761, and by the Canadian government after 1867, the population of the Mi'kmaq today might well be half million or more.

In view of the before-mentioned, it would be only proper if all the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas put off any future celebrations with the English Crown, and other European governmental and social institutions, until such time as the Queen, or one of her successors, and other European leaders, come to the Americas and make full and open apologies to us for the horrors that their colonial ancestors inflicted upon our ancestors and their descendants!

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American Indians Inadvertently Honoring Colonial Barbarians

By Daniel N. Paul, December 5, 2006

To stop the practice of American Indians inadvertently honouring the colonial monsters that brutalized our ancestors we must learn our post-European invasion histories and stop celebrating European colonialism

The following is something you probably will never see: a Jewish person using a room, or a building, or a school, or anything else, named to honour the memory of Adolph Hitler. The reason for this is simple - Jews know that he tried to exterminate them - murdering millions in the process. Knowing this, they appreciate that it would be demeaning to the memories of their slaughtered brothers and sisters for them to honour Hitler by using such facilities.

In the case of First Nations Peoples, it's a different story; we don’t know our histories. This, of course, is not our fault, it’s the fault of the invaders, who’ve managed to keep most of the horrors perpetuated in the Americas by their ancestors against ours under wraps. In fact, to this end, they’ve used scurrilous propaganda so effectively to defame our ancestors that we, their children, the victims, appear to be the children of monsters.

Down the road this will change! In time the truth will prevail because we are beginning to acquire the expertise needed to uncover the abundant evidence left behind by colonial authorities, which effectively refute the heinous propaganda that depicts our ancestors as barbaric heathen savages.

However, in the meantime, there is a practice among our people that we must curb by all means possible. Which is, because of the lack of knowledge of our histories, the use by them of facilities named in honour of the memory of colonial officials guilty of committing unspeakable genocidal crimes against our ancestors.

For an example of this usage, lets go to the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where the powers that be have named a large first floor room in honour of colonial British Governor Edward Cornwallis. As all Mi’kmaq and Maliseet should know, but don't, it’s named in honour of a man who made a barbaric attempt to exterminate the Mi’kmaq and any Maliseet allied with them.

THE DETAILS OF THE CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY COMMITTED BY CORNWALLIS:

Governor Cornwallis, as a means to reach his hideous goal of exterminating the Mi'kmaq, with the approval of his council, on October 1, 1749, issued a proclamation offering a bounty of 10£ (Pounds, British currency) for Mi'kmaq scalps - including women and children. (Such is a logical move when you try to exterminate a race of People because, as Hitler did with Europe’s Jews, it’s a must that you kill off women and children.) Just in case anyone believes that he and his councillors only enacted it for use as a threat to win Mi’kmaq surrender, this information should set them straight. On June 21, 1750, probably because scalps were not coming in fast enough to see him realize his goal, he issued a new proclamation to advise European colonists that the bounty had been increased to fifty pounds per scalp.

Back to the World Trade Center. Many times, over the past few years, I’ve walked past the Cornwallis Room during events that were held there, that included Mi'kmaq participation, and seen many Mi’kmaq, including Chiefs and other leaders, using the room and celebrating within it. Such behavior to the knowledgeable white man must seem strange and incredulous to say the least. What other race of persecuted people would willingly use a facility named in honour of the man who tried to exterminate them? Not one that I know of.

In view of the before mentioned, it’s most important that we learn our history. Then, as sensible people, who are respectful of the memories of our persecuted and slaughtered ancestors, we would never again be caught in rooms, buildings, or anything else, named in honour of individuals who were responsible for their persecution and slaughter.

If we, the First Nations Peoples of the Americas, want to regain dignity and self-respect, we must declare such places as the World Trade and Convention Centre off limits until rooms named in honour of monsters such as Cornwallis are renamed! Colonial European authorities in the Americas, British and Spanish in particular, used every means possible, biological warfare to scalp proclamations, to kill off American Indian populations. In the process they violated every provision of the 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention. Let us not forget, untold crimes against humanity were committed by colonial authorites, not one of the perpetrators was ever held accountable for his barbaric acts!

NOTE: After the Assembly of First Nations sent me a notice that it would be holding its annual assembly at the Halifax World Trade and Convention Center in Halifax July 2007, I sent information to Larry Whiteduck, AFN co-ordinator for the event, about Cornwallis's bounty proclamation for Mi'kmaq scalps, with the advise that the organization should not use the Center's Cornwallis room. Larry forwarded my information to the Convention Center with the advice that AFN would not use the room named in honour of the Governor.

I was asked by AFN Regional Chief Rick Simon to send to Paul Cody, the Center's Senior Sales Manager, a letter outlining the pertinent historical reasons why the name should be changed, which I sent on May 8, 2007. The following day, May 9th, I received an Email from Mr. Cody advising that as of that date the Cornwallis name was being removed and that the room, until they choose a new name, would be known as level one.

This result demonstrates that if we want positive change, and are willing to struggle for it for a long time, it can be realized!

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Illogical, but possible criminal defense

I find it fantastically unbelievable that modern day descendants of Anglo invading colonizers, who claim to be stalwart defenders of liberty, justice and freedom, are still blind to the fact that the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas were forced to use every method possible to defend themselves from invaders, that were hell bent and determined to strip them of their countries, and in many cases, their lives. The defenders did not do it for the fun of it, it was done because it was a necessity.

In view of the before mentioned, I wonder when a modern day mugger, who was beaten off by the person he/she was attempting to mug, will use as a defense the fact that the mugee assaulted him/her during his attempted robbery. Why not, the victim was fighting back? Such a justification seems to work quite well for the descendants of the marauding European invaders, who use it religiously to defend the horrific behavior of their ancestors.

Elder Dr. Daniel N. Paul, C.M., O.N.S., May 13, 2010

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Persistence pays off!

Halifax Herald

School to shed name of Cornwallis

By DAVENE JEFFREY Staff Reporter

Thu, Jun 23, 2011

The Halifax regional school board voted unanimously Wednesday to forever sever the tie between a south-end junior high school and a city founder who put a bounty on the Mi'kmaq.

Acting on a motion by its Mi'kmaq member, Kirk Arsenault, the board agreed that Cornwallis Junior High must have a new name.

The school is named after Gov. Edward Cornwallis, who spearheaded the colonization of the area for the British in the mid-1700s.

"Edward Cornwallis is deeply offensive to members of our Mi'kmaq communities and to Nova Scotians generally who believe school names should recognize persons whose contributions to society are unblemished by acts repugnant to the values we wish our schools to embody and represent," Arsenault said, reading from his motion.

He called the board's decision "an exercise in healing and of education."

No one appeared before the board to oppose Arsenault's motion, and he said most of the feedback he received from the public before the meeting was positive, with only a few people opposing the name change.

"Some people have tried to turn it into some sort of a political storm and tried to flip it back on the Mi'kmaq people," he said.

Mi'kmaq elder and author Daniel Paul addressed the board after the motion was passed.

"I'm proud of you. You are proactive and God bless," he said.

Paul has long been spreading the word of Cornwallis's scalp proclamation against the Mi'kmaq and protesting the Halifax founder's place in history as a figure deserving tribute.

"Twenty-five years I've been at this," he said.

Paul, who started school in 1948 and quit in 1953, said the only mention of the Mi'kmaq in his school textbooks was that they made axe handles and baskets.

But nowadays, in at least one Dartmouth junior high school, Mi'kmaq studies is a more popular course than Canadian history and African-Canadian history combined, teacher Ben Sichel of Prince Andrew High told the board.

The Cornwallis controversy comes up in class every year, Sichel said.

"You can't change history. This is true. But you can choose who you honour," he said before the vote was taken.

"(You) have an opportunity to make a historic contribution to peace and justice in this province."

It will be up to the school community to choose a new name for the junior high.

"It's a great school," said board member David Cameron, who said his granddaughter goes there.

"It will still be a great school with a name of which everyone can be proud."

The school sits in Cameron's district.

Paul said outside the meeting that he'd like Cornwallis's name to be removed from more than just the school. For example, he'd like Cornwallis Park, across the street from the Via Rail station, to be renamed Freedom Park and a statue erected "to all the immigrants who came to this country and helped to build the country into the powerhouse that it is."

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Cultural Genocide

John Duncan, Canada's Minister of Indian Affairs, recently stated that cultural genocide was never attempted in Canada, my response:

In one of his so-called "Indian Poems", white supremacist Duncan Scott Campbell, Deputy Minister of Canada's Indian Affairs, wrote:

She stands full-throated and with careless pose,
This woman of a weird and waning race,
The tragic savage lurking in her face,
Where all her pagan passion burns and glows;
Her blood is mingled with her ancient foes,
And thrills with war and wildness in her veins;
Her rebel lips are dabbled with the stains
Of feuds and forays and her father's woes.

And closer in the shawl about her breast,
The latest promise of her nation's doom,
Paler than she her baby clings and lies,
The primal warrior gleaming from his eyes;
He sulks, and burdened with his infant gloom,
He draws his heavy brows and will not rest.

The Canadian Government's denial that Cultural Genocide and out and out Genocide were never attempted by British colonial and Canadian governments in what is today Canada is ludicrous, preposterous, and delusional! The extinction of the Beothuk and three British proclamations for Maliseet and Mi'kmaq scalps, plus other horrors under British colonial rule that are too numerous to mention here, if not Genocidal attempts, what were they, warped insane attempts to assure survival? Then, under Canadian rule, malnutrition rations, minimal health care, Indian residential and Indian day schools that were set up specifically for taking the Indian out of the Indian, other government Indian Affairs policies that were also enacted for the express purpose of exterminating First Nation Cultures, etc., if these were not an all out attempt to commit Cultural Genocide what were they, more warped insane attempts to assure survival? As one who is old enough to remember the humiliation of being degraded by overt white supremacist racism in my youth, my advice for elected and non-elected Canadian Indian Affairs officials is to take your heads out of the sand and have a reality check! They could begin to acquire enlightenment by reading the following short story.

Prime Minister Harper's Indian Residential School apology draws attention to Duncan Scott Campbell, the Deputy Minister in charge of Indian Affairs Branch from 1913 to 1932. Campbell described the residential school program as an attempt "to kill the Indian in the child."

Mortality rates at the residential schools soared during Campbell's reign. Many students contracted tuberculosis and were forced to sit through classes as their health deteriorated, ensuring that healthy students would be exposed to the virus.

Campbell addressed the issue in 1924 in one of the most chilling statements in Canadian history. "It is readily acknowledged that Indian children lose their natural resistance to illness by habituating so closely in the residential schools and that they die at a much higher rate than in their villages. But this does not justify a change in the policy of this Department which is geared towards a final solution of our Indian Problem."

About Duncan Scott Campbell

As the bureaucratic head of Indian Affairs Branch from 1913 to 1932, Duncan Scott Campbell had among his responsibilities the direction and management of Canada's Indian residential school system.

The Encyclopedia Britannica reports that he "allowed school staff to use a variety of inhumane punishments to implement and enforce the assimilation of these children."

Campbell left a record of his thoughts during his 20 year command of the Department of Indian Affairs. His duplicitous writing reveals a carefully crafted policy of cultural genocide. It is chilling to realize that Campbell wrote the following policy statements in the 1920's.

"The policy of the Dominion (of Canada) has always been to protect Indians, to guard the identity as a race and at the same time to apply methods which will destroy that identity and lead eventually to their disappearance as a separate division of the population."

Reference: From a work of literary criticism produced as a Masters thesis by Nancy Chater at OISE in Toronto in 1999.

Library of Canada 0-612-45483-5

TECHNOLOGIES OF REMEMBRANCE: Click to read Nancy Chater's LITERARY CRITICISM AND DUNCAN CAMPBELL SCOTT'S "INDIAN POEMS 
Nancy Chater: A thesis submitted in confomity with the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts, Department of
Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
University of Toronto
Copyright by Nancy Chater, 1999

Chater pulled the quote from a book titled The Age of Light, Soup and Water: Moral Reform in English Canada 1885 - 1925 by . Valverde is a criminology prof at University of Toronto Mariana Valverde Also Wikipedia Mariana Valverde

Scott's role as Canada's top Indian Affairs bureaucrat enabled him to travel on Indian territory at tax payer expense and write pretentious lamentations about the people he was determined to destroy.

Thanks to Michael Jack Lawlor for his input.

Daniel N. Paul, November 26, 2011

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Sikh 24 .Com

February 3, 2013

A Sikh Response to the Idle No More Movement

By: Sikh24 Editors

Silent No More:

I try to imagine the government coming to my house one morning and taking my five year old daughter and eight year old son away to a boarding school hundreds of kilometres away. I try to imagine that at this school, my children’s hair will be cut, their dastars and will be removed and they will be forcibly baptized as Christians. I try to imagine that they will be beaten for speaking Panjabi, reading or trying to maintain their religious and cultural traditions. I try to imagine that even their basic health needs will not be looked after and they may well die from treatable infections and diseases. And then, I must admit, I am not able to imagine the rest; I can not bear to imagine them being abused, assaulted, beaten and raped.

That is what occurred in this country for one hundred years as the Canadian government, along with government sanctioned church groups, kidnapped First Nations children from their homes and took them to residential schools where unspeakable horrors were committed on them. Of course the history of colonization in the Americas does not begin with the Residential School system but is in fact a legacy going back centuries. It is estimated that 90 to 95% of all indigenous people living in the Americas were killed by smallpox within the first century after European first contact in the late 1400’s. It is difficult to fathom death at that scale. Those that remained had their land stolen and were forced onto reservations to live as non-citizens in their own lands.

As a nation, Sikhs are extremely proud of our own anti-colonial struggle against the British. Yet we have completely failed to acknowledge that in Canada we have succeeded due to the colonial oppression of other nations. This land where we build our homes and businesses was the land of nations that lived here for tens of thousands of years. Yes, one hundred and seventy years ago the British annexed Panjab and ended Khalsa Raj. But the British did not exile us from our own villages and towns. The British did not take our land and build new cities. The British did not migrate to Panjab and force us to live on inadequate reserves.

We face discrimination in Canada and suffer from chronic underfunding in order to address challenging issues like domestic violence, sexual abuse and drug use. However, we are not without means. We have Sikh representatives at every level of government across the country and have been financially successful as a community. We owe a debt to this country and to its true heritage; not the Canada evolved from French and British colonies but to a land that was the sovereign territory of nations that sustainably farmed, fished and hunted here since before the dawn of history.

It has become an integral part of how we define ourselves, this message that “Sikhs believe in equality” but speaking those words is easy; living this in truth is much more difficult. We need to demonstrate our commitment to the revolutionary message of Guru Nanak Sahib, that every human being contains equally an aspect of the divine and that we are all truly worthy of having our basic human needs and rights protected and defended. In fact, this impulse to speak against the oppressor in defense of the rights of the other stems from the Gurus themselves. It was Guru Nanak Sahib himself who faced down the first Mughal Emperor Babur after his invading forces had committed horrendous massacres. Though Guru Nanak Sahib stood alone, he did not hesitate to speak against those who had perpetrated the crimes he witnessed.

One of the most treasured episodes in Sikh history is the Shaheedi of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib. In November of 1675, Guru jee gave his life in the streets of Delhi. He did not die for Sikh rights but instead he gave his head as an act of political disobedience against the Mughal Empire’s forced conversion of Hindus. That a leader of a religion would die to to defend the rights of another religion is almost unbelievable and Guru Tegh Bahadur’s example still stands uniquely in all of human history. It is our Ninth Guru’s example that Sikhs strive to emulate when we defend the rights of those who are different from us.

But it is more than just defending the rights of the other. The Guru asks us to stand with those who are been marginalized, those who society considers low and unworthy. As Guru Nanak Sahib reveals in Asa ki Vaar, he himself identifies as one of those who others call low:

That is the challenge put forth to us by the Guru, that we must place ourselves in the position of those who have no power in our societies, those who have been cast off and dehumanized.

Idle No More is a response not only to the legacy of colonialism but the continuing colonialism that First Nations people are being subjected to. First Nations simply want the their rights as a sovereign people respected. They want justice for the crimes of the past and the basic human dignity that all people are entitled to. They want control of their resources and the right to educate and govern themselves as they see fit. Does this sound familiar? It’s exactly what Sikhs have been struggling for in India for the last several decades. From the Anandpur Sahib Resolution to the demand for justice for victims of massacres, human rights abuses and pogroms to Panjab’s ongoing struggle with government enabled substance and alcohol abuse, the parallels between and contemporary Sikh struggles is striking.

But these protesters are not just fighting for themselves, they are fighting for all of our rights. They are fighting against the government’s omnibus bill and its erosion of environmental protection. They are fighting for all of our futures.

Today we face many problems as a community. We face internal divisions and external threats. But that has always been the case throughout Sikh history. Things have never been easy for our people. But we are capable of greatness when we are united. And when do we unite? When we struggle for justice, freedom and equality. is a growing movement. It is the voice of a people demanding their rights. We need not care about political expediency.

Sikh history is clear: the Sikh response to marginalized people fighting for rights has always been simple. Against all odds, we stand for you.

Sikh24 Editors can be reached at editors@sikh24.com

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