Is Canada Committed Acts Of Genocide?

1882 Words Oct 21st, 2015 8 Pages
When the term “genocide” is used, the majority of people will immediately call to memory one of a few widely recognized instances where this atrocity was committed. The Holocaust, Rwanda, Darfur or Armenia are among the most well known, but are they the only instances where genocide has occurred? Surely not, but this is indicative of a problem we are faced with today. Since the term “genocide” was coined, countries are very wary of admitting to any acts of wrongdoing in their history which may fit that definition. Canada is not exempt from this thinking, and because of this we must ask, has Canada ever committed acts of Genocide? This paper will look at one relatively recent example that can be used to answer “yes” to this question; the residential school system. Canada’s Indian Residential School (IRS) system and it’s treatment of Indigenous children was not just dark and brutal, but in fact constituted a “genocide” as defined by the 1948 UN Convention on Genocide.
From the 1870’s until the last school closed in 1996, at least 150,000 Indigenous children attended residential schools in Canada. More than 130 government mandated schools existed across the country. These schools were church administered, with the express purpose of forcibly removing Indigenous children from their native culture, in an effort to assimilate them into Euro-Canadian culture and thereby “kill the Indian in the child”. Countless families were torn apart as the Canadian government placed…
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