In this edition of Weekend Update, Russell Means speaks to the racist portrayals of Indians by Hollywood, the U.S. Government and the media of the left. He speaks as well to the soft racism of exclusion that too often ignores the Indigenous communites of the world and their concerns of their land and their people.
On December 22, 1997 paramilitary (state-trained and state-funded pro-governing party civil defense) forces surrounded a Catholic chapel in the pacifistTsotsil Mayan community of Acteal, Chiapas state, Mexico. During a period of several hours, this armed force, with the apparent consent of local Mexican Army units stationed not far away, proceeded to surround Acteal’s chapel, and shot to death those inside, and as many of those who escaped as they could find. A number of residents survived the massacre. Those murdered on that day included 15 children, 21 women (four of them pregnant) and 9 men.
On June 6, 2009, Police, supplied by the U.S. ‘War Against Drugs, shot dead more than 38 people. The government of Peru ordered for the National Police to attack the Amazonian Indigenous peoples. Civilians were shot from building roofs and helicopters.
Indigenous peoples in Peru were on strike for the previous 52 days protesting against free trade policies that would allow multinationals to take over their territories. The attack occurred around 5:00 AM in the morning, a day after the Congress of Peru decided not to debate one of the most important decrees that allow the sale of Indigenous land. The number of casualities is according to a Twetter sent by a Peruvian journalist who is in the area of Bagua, a city located in the Amazonas region of Peru.
In the first week of February, according to indigenous witnesses, Columbian FARC rebels massacred up to 27 Awa people in the southern Narino province, including women and young children (from ages 3 to 6), bringing the total number of murdered Native people to 50 since the national march in the fall.
FARC press statements have only acknowledged the “execution” of eight indigenous due to their alleged assistance of Columbian military, but witnesses deny that figure and the assertion that the Awa willingly assisted anyone.
The National Indigenous Organization of Columbia, ONIC and regional UNIPA, Indigenous Unity of the Awa People, issued a joint statement the week after the massacre, decrying the murders.
“The UNIPA and ONIC denounce the grave violation of human rights and the collective rights of the Awa people of Narino, which is nothing new. … in the last 10 years [in the AWA territory] there have been four massacres, approximately 200 murders and 50 people affected by antipersonnel mines (land mines). … and now 1,300 Awa people are trapped in the area due to confrontations between the army, the guerillas and the para-militaries.”
Guatemalan Civil War:
In its final report, the Commission for Historical Clarification (CEH- Guatemalan Truth Commission) concluded that army massacres had destroyed 626 villages, more than 200,000 people were killed or disappeared, 1.5 million were displaced by the violence, and more than 150,000 were driven to seek refuge in Mexico. Further, the Commission found the state (funded largely by the United States) responsible for ninety-three percent of the acts of violence and the guerrillas (URNG-Guatemalan Revolutionary Union) responsible for three percent. All told, eighty-three percent of the victims were Maya and seventeen percent were ladino.
Acteal: <em>Originally posted on: http://www.libertadlatina.org/Crisis_Mexico_Chiapas_Acteal_Massacre.htm</em>
This week Russell talks to us about self-esteem and how important it is that we rebuild a strong sense of self-worth in the Children now growing up on the Reservations. We are given a first-hand glimpse of how the charitable act of one man really made the day for some kids here at the Porcupine School. He also illustrates the two-faced nature of our sicko, wacked-out USA Government by revealing how the fabulous “new school” is just a fascist coverup for what really goes on here on the Pine Ridge Sioux Indian Reservation.
Walter Bockus, Pedophile Priest
Greenfield Park’s Child Rapist & Sodomizer
Fully Protected by the Anglican Church of Canada
What a Sickening Legacy for a Priest & His Church!!
This is the twisted pervert who “ministered” in eight Canadian parishes, using little children to satisfy his personal sexual desires, destroying many families in the process.
His latest handshake must have been with Saddam!
The Anglican Church of Canada has not only refused to defrock him …. but this child molester also retains the honorary title “Canon”, proving just how hypocritical the Anglican Church of Canada truly is!
Some of his Victims’ testimonials are linked in the right hand margin.
We thank N.S for locating an image of one of Greenfield Park’s worst perverts.
Direct Navigation to Greenfield Park Victim Impact Statements
Indian Lawsuits on School Abuse May Bankrupt Canada Churches
BYLINE: By JAMES BROOKE
DATELINE: REGINA, Saskatchewan
Lawsuits filed by thousands of former Indian boarding school students in Canada, claiming sexual, physical and “cultural” abuse, threaten to swamp the financial resources of four mainstream Christian churches that ran the schools until 1970.
“I simply see us going broke,” Duncan D. Wallace, the Anglican bishop of Qu’Appelle, which encompasses Regina, said of his diocese. With resignation, he added, “When you get down to it, all we need is a bottle of wine, a book and a table, and we are in business.”
Settlements could snowball into billions of dollars, devastating the financial resources of Canada’s four old-line Christian churches: Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and United Church. By the end of next year, the Canadian government forecasts, 16,000 Indians will have entered some form of claim; that number is equal to 17 percent of the living alumni of the boarding schools.
Already there are four class-action suits against the churches and the government, which had the churches run schools in distant communities under contract.
Indian plaintiffs have won all five boarding school abuse trials held in the last two years — two in Saskatchewan and three in British Columbia. In the Saskatchewan cases, both involving sex abuse, and both filed against the government, one plaintiff won $54,000 and the other $114,000. In the British Columbia cases, lawyers for the government and the churches negotiated secrecy over damage awards.
Auditors for the Anglican Church of Canada predict that legal fees alone will push the church into bankruptcy next year.
“There is a lot of denial, people thinking this is a bad dream,” Bishop Wallace said of the responses of priests and parishioners to the claims. “I told a priest recently, ‘When your rectory gets sold out from underneath you and you are living in the street, maybe you will understand this is for real.’ ”
Parishioners have proposed selling the oldest church in Alberta to raise $2 million for legal costs and settlements faced by the United Church of Canada. In Manitoba, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a Roman Catholic order, want to hand over to the federal government virtually all their property in the province in return for Ottawa’s assuming liability for about 2,000 claims against the order. The Oblates fear that legal bills will eat up their assets before any money can flow to legitimate claimants.
In British Columbia, some members of the now bankrupt Anglican diocese of Cariboo, embittered with the government, propose complying with a government order to inventory church art for auction by sending their Sunday school drawings to Ottawa.
Behind the suits is the real pain of many Canadian Indians who were rounded up and forced into the schools.
In the late 19th century, Canada’s government turned to established churches to carry out federal obligations to educate the new nation’s Indians. With few civil servants willing to work in remote areas, churches agreed to run a network of aboriginal boarding schools, which numbered about 100 at its peak.
In a forced assimilation popular in North America a century ago, children as young as 5 were taken from their families to faraway boarding schools where their hair was cropped short, they were often dressed in uniforms and they were forbidden to speak their native languages or learn their traditional arts, religion and dances.
“How do you get 6-year-olds who only speak Sioux, who only speak Lakota, who only speak Cree to speak English?” asked Anthony Merchant, head of a group here that represents about 4,000 claimants. “You use Gestapo-type tactics to punish this 6-year-old. Punishment becomes increasingly barbaric, sadistic.”
Mr. Merchant, who said there were no statutes of limitations for sex abuse cases, said that about one-third of his clients charged such abuse. With the pace of trials picking up, he estimated that his firm would handle half of the roughly 70 cases scheduled for trial next year.
“You couldn’t say one word or you would get slapped,” said Jerry Shepherd, a plaintiff from the White Bear Nation, recounting in an interview his days at Gordon School, about 65 miles north of here, in the mid-1960′s.
With parents often forbidden to visit, boarding schools sometimes became places where pedophiles freely preyed on defenseless, disoriented children, Indians say.
“The sexual perverts went all over the West,” Mr. Merchant said. “We have some that were in six or seven schools.”
School defenders say that for aboriginal Canadians to survive in the modern era, it was essential for them to learn English, to adopt Western-style dress and to learn vocational skills.
Anger over the schools surfaced in suspicious fires that decimated the buildings, most recently an arson attack last summer that destroyed a boarded-up building that once housed the Edmonton Indian Residential School in Alberta.
Some Indians remember that their abusers were fellow Indians. Edmund Gordon, 39, a former student at the Gordon School, recalls that the supervisor who gave him marijuana and then tried to rape him was “an aboriginal, he taught powwow.” Mr. Gordon, a claimant who now runs a residence for H.I.V.-positive Indians here, said that he blamed the supply of free drugs and alcohol for derailing his boyhood goals of becoming a policeman or professional hockey player.
According to “Sins of the Fathers,” a report on the schools published by The Anglican Journal, the church’s monthly newspaper, last May, eight Indian men committed suicide after they were subpoenaed to testify about their sexual abuse at the boarding school in the Cariboo diocese.
“When they got handed a piece of paper, they knew their secret was out,” Fred Sampson, a former student of St. George’s Indian Residential School, said about friends called to testify in an abuse suit that went to trial last year. “They thought, ‘Everybody’s going to know that I let this guy do it to me for candy.’ ”
Robert Desjarlais, 53, a Saskatchewan Indian, walked 1,500 miles from here to Ottawa last summer, demanding educational programs to restore lost languages. Walking the last 100 miles barefoot, Mr. Desjarlais said that in the mid-1950′s he was regularly abused by a Catholic priest at a church school.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which once was charged with enforcing mandatory school laws for Indians, started a task force in 1995 to investigate allegations of boarding school abuse. Since then, the Mounties have received 3,400 complaints against 170 suspects. So far, only five people have been charged, with crimes like sexual abuse, a low tally that the police attribute to faulty memories and deaths of teachers.
Seeking redress through civil suits, lawyers believe that the British Columbia judge in the Cariboo case set a national precedent when she assigned a 60 percent share of liability to the Anglican Church and 40 percent to the federal government.
The churches protest that they ended their involvement in the schools around 1970, though the government took them over and did not close the last one for two more decades. Anglicans say their primate, Archbishop Michael Peers, made a full apology to Indians for abuses at the schools in 1993, five years before Canada’s government made a similar apology.
Faced with selling churches, rectories, women’s shelters and soup kitchens, churches say that settlements should be mediated outside the courts, that the federal government should pay the greatest part of the claims, and that a fact-finding panel similar to South Africa’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission should be set up.
Blurring battle lines, Canada’s Anglican Church today has four aboriginal bishops and 130 aboriginal priests. Some tribal leaders have banned from their reserves lawyers working on contingency fees seeking claimants.
Rejecting charges of “cultural genocide,” John Clarke, the Anglican bishop of Athabasca in northern Alberta, told The Anglican Journal, “There’s a whole pile of upper-middle-class guilt here that’s running the show, not much common sense.”
Arguing that the most effective therapy is counseling, apologies and moderate settlements, church leaders say that additional steps like teaching lost languages could be paid out of a $240 million “healing fund” the federal government set up in 1998.
Most suits did not originally name the churches. Instead, Ottawa drew the churches into the legal wrangles by naming them as third-party defendants. The Anglican Church is urging parishioners to write Prime Minister Jean Chretien using lines like, “Your Department of Justice is literally driving my church into bankruptcy.”
Compounding bureaucratic caution, clouds were recently cast over one of Canada’s largest school abuse settlements, in Nova Scotia. A provincial justice department report in September on the $25 million that the province paid in the late 1990′s to 1,237 reported victims at a boys’ reform school concluded that, in retrospect, “most of the allegations are either unsustainable or implausible.”
With a national election scheduled for Nov. 27, some Christian commentators are urging people to vote against Mr. Chretien’s Liberal Party and for the Canadian Alliance, a conservative party led by Stockwell Day.
“Jean Chretien and the Liberals have basically announced it’s open season on our nation’s mainstream churches,” Paul Jackson, a columnist, wrote in The Calgary Sun.
Mr. Chretien recently asked Herb Gray, Canada’s deputy prime minister, to find a negotiated solution. Without setting a timetable, Mr. Gray said he sought a solution “that is fair to all, that primarily does not involve litigation.”
But with no solution near, church leaders nervously await a court test here in December of a new legal concept: “cultural abuse,” or loss of language, oral traditions and spiritual beliefs.CA
2000 – Head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs admits to crimes, “Remarks of Kevin Gover, Assistant Secretary–Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior, at the Ceremony Acknowledging the 175th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.” CLICK HERE for Full Text.
“Immediately upon its establishment in 1824, the Office of Indian Affairs was an instrument by which the United States enforced its ambition against the Indian nations. As the nation expanded West, the agency participated in the ethnic cleansing that befell the western tribes. War begets tragedy, but the deliberate spread of disease, the decimation of the bison herds, the use of alcohol to destroy mind and body, and the cowardly killing of women and children made for tragedy on a scale so ghastly that it cannot be dismissed as merely the inevitable consequence of the clash of competing ways of life. After the devastation of tribal economies, the BIA set out to destroy all things Indian by forbidding the speaking of Indian languages, prohibiting traditional religious activities, outlawing traditional government, and making Indians ashamed of who they were. Worst of all, the BIA committed these acts against the children entrusted to its boarding schools. The trauma of shame, fear, and anger has passed from one generation to the next, and manifests itself in the rampant alcoholism, drug abuse, and domestic violence that plague Indian country. The BIA expresses its profound sorrow for these wrongs, extends this formal apology to Indian people for its historical conduct, and makes promises for its future conduct. “
Playground bones force Canada to face genocide of Indian children.
IN OVERGROWN deserted school playgrounds across Canada lie the bones of thousands of native Indian children who were stolen from their families.
Historian John Milloy is helping to uncover their stories in official research on burial sites. “We know that children were buried in unmarked graves, children who disappeared and were never heard from again,” he said. The research is part of Canada’s attempts to face up to a disturbing legacy of its residential school system, an attempt to “assimilate” native children that resulted in thousands of deaths and ruined lives.
From the late 19th century right up to the 1970s, an estimated 150,000 native children – First Nations, Inuit and Métis – were packed off to the schools, funded by the state and run by the Catholic, Anglican and United churches.
The story has taken a more sinister turn, with allegations about death by torture, fatal medical experiments, forced sterilization and secret burials in mass graves filtering into the public domain.
These allegations have been gathered and disseminated by Kevin Annett, a defrocked minister who was thrown out of the United Church in 1996 for his part in exposing the schools scandal and the clergy’s sale of entrusted native lands to a logging company.
Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, apologised last year on behalf of the religious authorities. “We failed them, we failed our selves, we failed God. We failed because of our racism and because of the belief that white ways were superior to aboriginal ways,” he said.
Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has responded to the claims over Mr Annett’s allegations by ordering maps to be drawn up of possible burial sites and research into numbers and causes of death.
Mr Milloy and his team plan to track down the death certificates and records of maintenance payments sent to schools. Much of the proof will have been lost in routine government purges of official documentation in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, he fears. Michael Pollesel, general secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada, says that many schools would also have lost track of children.
Roland Chrisjohn, a professor of native studies St Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick, is sick of what he perceives as Canada tip-toeing around the issue. “I want someone with the power to subpoena witnesses and documents and go all kinds of places this commission can’t go at all,” he said. Describing the residential schools as “genocide”, he said: “Perpetrators are still living. People should be held to account.”
Mike Cachagee, the chairman of the National Residential Schools Survivors’ Society, has his own theory about the TRC. “It is an opportunity for churches to receive absolution,” he said. “For us, there are no words of reconciliation, you have to make amends. Just listening for ten minutes doesn’t work.” “Thousands were abused in a regime built to crush native cultures.”
LAST June, the Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, rose in parliament to apologize to aboriginal people on behalf of all Canadians for a system of Indian residential schools he called a “sad chapter in our history”. From the 1870s to the 1970s, some 150,000 native Indian children were forcibly removed from their parents and sent to distant residential schools. Many survivors said they were abused mentally, physically and sexually. In 2006, a class-action lawsuit resulted in a court settlement that awarded them close to $2 billion (£1.5 billion).
There are about 80,000 survivors of a practice that ripped an estimated 150,000 children from their communities and sent them off to be relieved of their “Indian-ness”.
In decades past the aim was to assimilate aboriginal peoples and crush their cultures. Duncan Campbell Scott, a senior government bureaucrat dealing with aboriginal matters, declared in 1920: “I want to get rid of the Indian problem.” He went on: “Our objective is to continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed into the body politic”.
Children were called pigs and dogs. Teachers beat them if they used their own languages and told them they would go to hell unless they converted to Christianity. Many parents never saw their sons and daughters again. Survivors often took to drugs and alcohol to dim the pain.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up for five years under the terms of the 2006 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, is expected to hear the stories of survivors, beginning this year.
The Scotsman newspaper
Published Date: 06 January 2009
By Lorraine Mallinder