Houstonian Corner (V11-I38)

September 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Qari Sharafat Ali & Hafiz Amjad Saeed Featured At Pakistan Center

Picture M Houston, Texas (Pakistan Chronicle Report): The First Annual Iftar-&-Dinner and Special Isha-&-Taraweeh Prayers were organized this past weekend by Helping Hand For Relief & Development (HHRD) at Pakistan Center located along Bissonnet at South Dairy Ashford.

For this program, famous Qari Sharaft from Baltimore and Hafiz Amjad Saeed from Atlanta came and made motivational presentations. Qari Sharafat Ali presented heartwarming recitation of Quran and during the Taraweeh Prayers, he moved people with recitation of Surah Ar Rahman. He also presented a couple of Nasheeds.

Program started with Quranic recitation by students of Hafiz Tauqer Shah of Houston. Program was open to public and around 150 people attended.

In his Motivational Presentation, Hafiz Amjad Saeed informed everyone about Helping Hand’s project, especially the $1/Day; or $365/Year; or $30/Month-For-12-Months Orphan Sponsorship Program, where Helping hand and its aligned organizations take care of the educational, health and food needs of an orphan for one year in one of the fifteen countries. About $10,000 were raised during this program, while almost $22,000 were already raised before the program through the efforts of volunteers of HHRD.

For more information about the programs of HHRD, one can visit www.HHRD.Org or 832-275-0786 / 1-214-707-8159.

Houston Police Department Seeks Outstanding High School Youth

Houston police are looking for several outstanding high school youth to take part in the department’s Youth Police Advisory Council (YPAC).
The students, 9th through 12th graders at Houston area schools, will take part in the yearlong program which emphasizes leadership, respect, education, community service and an exposure to life outside the inner city.

The high school students will serve on an advisory council to HPD Chief Harold Hurtt that will address such issues as peer-pressure, dating violence, gangs, drugs, as well as career goals and higher education.

The goal of the YPAC program, begun more than a decade ago, is to develop leadership skills among high school students. It stresses the need for participants to serve as leaders among their peers, act as liaisons between students and the City of Houston, and to take what they’ve learned and share it with their fellow students.

Students interested in participating in this year’s program should fill out and submit the attached application by October 02.  Anyone with questions about the program should contact Rhonda Conner, YPAC Director, at 713-308-3292 or E-Mail: RhondaR.Conner@CityOfHouston.Net

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Back to School?

August 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

By Sumayyah Meehan, Muslim Media News Service (MMNS)

School Bus - Cartoon 7 The photo spreads in local sales circulars in Kuwait bear all the familiar ‘back to school’ images of kids wearing cute outfits complete with backpacks swung over an arm. The ‘back to school’ sales placards cover the storefronts over most businesses that are competing for each sale as the global downturn continues to dig in. However, despite the familiar images, there is nothing ordinary about this school year that is set to start in only a few days.

The H1N1 virus, known as the ‘swine flu’, has cast a dark shadow over the Holy Month of Ramadan and impending school year that is set to start on the first of September in all Gulf countries. More than 1,100 people in Kuwait alone have already been diagnosed with the H1N1 virus, and while almost all of the patients have recovered, three people have died as a result of the H1N1 virus. The Kuwaiti government has been vigilant in providing public service announcements, via various media, since the spring when the first few cases were reported in Mexico and later America. The H1N1 virus ahs spread to all regions of the Middle East as each country can only count as the rapidity of infection rises.

In Kuwait, in particular, many parents have been sounding the alarm as the summer holidays have slowly begun to fade away. Concerned ministries, primarily the Ministries of Health and Education, met this past week to discuss the possible closing of schools to avoid the spread of the H1N1 virus. The results were less than fruitful. The joint decision as of press time is to only postpone the start of Kindergarten classes in both public and private schools for 10 days. Regular classes are set to resume as usual on September 1st.

The Kuwaiti government has also this week developed a swine flu plan, which is supposed to be put into effect by school administrators in the tiny Gulf state. Desks will be positioned 1 meter apart and congregating, in the cafeteria or at the playground, will be forbidden. Health Minister Helal Al-Sayer further announced that, in the event that a single student comes down with the H1N1 virus, the entire class will be closed indefinitely. He also said that if any school reports more than 5% of the student population are infected with the H1N1 virus then the entire school will be closed.  Individual students, who are suspected of having the H1N1 virus by teachers while in class, will be quarantined until health officials can properly diagnose their affliction. Al-Sayer further announced that 120 schools would be outfitted with special clinics specifically for the treatment of students suffering from the H1N1 virus.  The remaining schools in the country have no such facilities and it remains to be seen if health officials will monitor each school individually.

Kuwait is not the only Middle Eastern country to take ‘back to school’ swine flu precautions. Several private schools in Dubai have also postponed the start of the school year by several days. However, no Gulf country has taken as drastic measures as Oman. The country has cancelled the school term for both private and public schools until mid-December when the H1N1 vaccine, expected to be available in September, will have immunized pupils from the deadly virus. So far 5 people have died in Oman from the H1N1 virus.

When asked about the current decision the Kuwaiti government has made to continue with the start of the school year as normal, a Pakistani housewife and resident of Kuwait who wishes to remain anonymous said, “ What’s the point in closing a class after a student gets sick? The whole class will already be infected. I can only pray that the Minster will change the decision before school starts.”

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Community News (V11-I33)

August 6, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Muslim women’s shelter in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC–Sa’idah Sharif-Sudan, an advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, is starting a shelter for Muslim women in Charlotte. She had earlier started a shelter in New Jersey in 2003.

At a luncheon sponsored by the Domestic Violence Advocacy Council this week Sudan said the shelter, the first of its kind in Charlotte, would be officially would be launched in the coming months.

Sudan says she would also like to sensitize social workers to the needs of Muslims. “I’d like to educate the social workers, the police departments,” she said. “They don’t know much about the Muslim community and domestic violence.”

For starters, she said, it is important to keep in mind that domestic violence is not just a problem in the Muslim community.

“Domestic violence has no religion, no color, no face – it’s everywhere,” Sudan said. “If Muslim husbands beat their wives, they are not practicing what they say they believe (as Muslims). But neither are Catholics or Baptists when they beat their wives.”

Syed Muzzamil wins scholarship

SOMERVILLE,NJ–Syed Muzzamil is a recipient of the 2009 New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome’s 2009 Children’s Scholarship in the amount of $500. Muzzamil, who graduated from North Brunswick Township High School, was selected for his academic achievement, community service and accomplishments as an individual with Tourette Syndrome.

Muzzamil served as student government president; played varsity golf; participated in the Model U.N. program; was a member of the National Honor Society and was a member of his school’s robotics team. Muzzamil took part in the Robert Wood Johnson Mini-Medical Seminar and volunteered at St. Peter’s Hospital in New Brunswick, the physician office of Dr. Saleha Hussaidn and the Muslim Center of Middlesex County.

NJCTS congratulates Syed Muzzamil on his achievements and wishes him continued success in his academic and career endeavors.

The NJCTS Children’s Scholarship Award is given to outstanding high school seniors in the state of New Jersey who have excelled in their schools and communities in the face of living with Tourette Syndrome.

Miss. group gets initial OK for mosque

CANTON,Miss.–The Mississippi Muslim Association has been granted the initial permission required to build a mosque in the city of Madison. The county supervisors voted 3-2 for the zoning exemption. Opponents have fifteen days to appeal the decision.

The mosque when constructed will be called Magnolia Islamic Center. Muslim association spokesman Azzam Aburmirshid says more than 100 families who attend a mosque in south Jackson want to worship closer to their homes in Madison County, north of the capital city.

Before the mosque can be built, the Muslim association must show building plans to county officials. It also must verify water and sewer service are available.
Islamic school to open in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis private school to open

MINNEAPOLIS,MN–The Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center, the largest mosque in the state, will open a private school this fall.  The leaders of the project say the mosque will fight the ‘youth crisis’ among local Somalis by teaching students to embrace their unique identity.

The mosque has raised about $760,000 in private donations to help pay for the school.

The Islamic school is expected to open in September with classes for kindergarten and first grade, but the mosque hopes to expand the offerings as the school grows. In addition to core subjects such as math and English, the school will also offer classes teaching the Somali language and Islamic studies. “Iqra” means “read” in Arabic.

The renovated space will also house the mosque’s weekend Islamic school and summer programs.

The mosque needs to raise an additional $173,000 to pay for the project.

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Community News (V11-I26)

June 18, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Minnesota Somali Community Rallies to Support CAIR-MN

MINNEAPOLIS, MN–On Saturday, June 13, representatives of more than a dozen Twin Cities Somali civil, religious and political organizations held a rally demonstrating their support for Minnesota’s only Muslim civil rights organization, the Minnesota Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN).
Representatives from local Somali organizations voiced their support of the work CAIR-MN has done in the Somali community and addressed the importance of civil rights education for all Americans. The coalition gathered to represent the collective voice of the Twin Cities Somali population, estimated to be between 70,000 and 80,000.

“CAIR has been the only organization to come into the Muslim community, the Somali community, to help them understand their civil rights,” said Somali Community Link Radio Host Zuhur Ahmed. “They’ve been here educating us about our rights as Americans since long before any men left for Somalia.” Ahmed added that, in addition to know your rights trainings, CAIR-MN has been promoting cooperation with law enforcement.

The group also stressed that Somalis are not represented by one or two media-seeking individuals who refer to themselves as activists.

“We’re here from dozens of active organizations working with the people on the issues important to Somalis,” said United Somali Movement Vice President Aman Obsiye. “We represent the true voice of the tens of thousands of Somalis living in the Twin Cities.”

Prosecutor sues over alleged discrimination

YOUNGSTOWN, OH–An assistant in the Youngstown City Prosecutor’s office claims he’s being discriminated against — and now he’s taking the city to court.

Attorney Bassil Ally claims he was denied the ability to attend weekly Friday prayers as required by his faith — and when he complained about it the Ohio Civil Rights Commission he was harassed.

In documents filed in federal court in Cleveland this week, lawyers claim Ally has been ostracized by co-workers — creating an intimidating work environment and fostering what’s described as “an atmosphere of harassment and retaliation.”

Groundbreaking ceremony held for Islamic school

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ– The Islamic Society of Central Jersey (ISCJ) broke ground for the construction of a new school building with hundreds of area residents and officials present. The Noor-ul-Iman school currently serves about 500 full time and another 500 weekend students.

The first phase of the projects is expected to take two years to finish. Foundation will be be laid and the parking lot is going to be expanded from 194 to 650 spaces.

The group earned approvals for the entire project and the school is going to be constructed as an 86,000-square-foot facility during the second phase.

Top Cleveland neurosurgeon gets coveted job at OSU

CLEVELAND, OH– Dr. Ali Rezai, Cleveland area’s top neurosurgeon, is all set to joining Ohio State University Medical Center later this year. He will be named the vice chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery with a pay package of $600,000 per year.

Dr. Rezai holds seven patents and has helped launch three life sciences companies. His strength is in deep brain simulation.

He is presently working for the Cleveland Clinic.

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Iraqi Boy Solves 300-year Old Math Puzzle

June 4, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Bernoulli_Jacob
Jacob Bernouilli

STOCKHOLM (AFP) – A 16-year-old Iraqi immigrant living in Sweden has cracked a math puzzle that has stumped experts for more than 300 years, Swedish media reported on Thursday.

In just four months, Mohamed Altoumaimi has found a formula to explain and simplify the so-called Bernoulli numbers, a sequence of calculations named after the 17th century Swiss mathematician Jacob Bernoulli, the Dagens Nyheter daily said.

Altoumaimi, who came to Sweden six years ago, said teachers at his high school in Falun, central Sweden were not convinced about his work at first.

“When I first showed it to my teachers, none of them thought the formula I had written down really worked,” Altoumaimi told the Falu Kuriren newspaper.

He then got in touch with professors at Uppsala University, one of Sweden’s top institutions, to ask them to check his work.

After going through his notebooks, the professors found his work was indeed correct and offered him a place in Uppsala.

But for now, Altoumaimi is focusing on his school studies and plans to take summer classes in advanced mathematics and physics this year.

“I wanted to be a researcher in physics or mathematics; I really like those subjects. But I have to improve in English and social sciences,” he told the Falu Kuriren.

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Turkish Schools Offer Pakistan a Gentler Islam

May 8, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Courtesy Sabrina Tavernise

Turkish educators are offering an alternative approach to religious schools that could reduce extremists’ influence.

KARACHI, Pakistan: Praying in Pakistan has not been easy for Mesut Kacmaz, a Muslim teacher from Turkey.

He tried the mosque near his house, but it had Israeli and Danish flags painted on the floor for people to step on. The mosque near where he works warned him never to return wearing a tie. Pakistanis everywhere assume he is not Muslim because he has no beard.

“Kill, fight, shoot,” Kacmaz said. “This is a misinterpretation of Islam.”

But that view is common in Pakistan, a frontier land for the future of Islam, where schools, nourished by Saudi and American money dating back to the 1980s, have spread Islamic radicalism through the poorest parts of society. With a literacy rate of just 50 percent and a public school system near collapse, the country is particularly vulnerable.

Kacmaz (pronounced KATCH-maz) is part of a group of Turkish educators who have come to this battleground with an entirely different vision of Islam. Theirs is moderate and flexible, comfortably coexisting with the West while remaining distinct from it. Like Muslim Peace Corps volunteers, they promote this approach in schools, which are now established in more than 80 countries, Muslim and Christian.

Their efforts are important in Pakistan, a nuclear power whose stability and whose vulnerability to fundamentalism have become main preoccupations of American foreign policy. Its tribal areas have become a refuge to the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and the battle against fundamentalism rests squarely on young people and the education they get.

At present, that education is extremely weak. The poorest Pakistanis cannot afford to send their children to public schools, which are free but require fees for books and uniforms. Some choose to send their children to madrasas, or religious schools, which, like aid organizations, offer free food and clothing. Many simply teach, but some have radical agendas. At the same time, a growing middle class is rejecting public schools, which are chaotic and poorly financed, and choosing from a new array of private schools.

The Turkish schools, which have expanded to seven cities in Pakistan since the first one opened a decade ago, cannot transform the country on their own. But they offer an alternative approach that could help reduce the influence of Islamic extremists.

They prescribe a strong Western curriculum, with courses, taught in English, from math and science to English literature and Shakespeare. They do not teach religion beyond the one class in Islamic studies that is required by the state. Unlike British-style private schools, however, they encourage Islam in their dormitories, where teachers set examples in lifestyle and prayer.

“Whatever the West has of science, let our kids have it,” said Erkam Aytav, a Turk who works in the new schools. “But let our kids have their religion as well.”

That approach appeals to parents in Pakistan, who want their children to be capable of competing with the West without losing their identities to it. Allahdad Niazi, a retired Urdu professor in Quetta, a frontier town near the Afghan border, took his son out of an elite military school, because it was too authoritarian and did not sufficiently encourage Islam, and put him in the Turkish school, called PakTurk.

“Private schools can’t make our sons good Muslims,” Niazi said, sitting on the floor in a Quetta house. “Religious schools can’t give them modern education. PakTurk does both.”

The model is the brainchild of a Turkish Islamic scholar, Fethullah Gulen. A preacher with millions of followers in Turkey, Gulen, 69, comes from a tradition of Sufism, an introspective, mystical strain of Islam. He has lived in exile in the United States since 2000, after getting in trouble with secular Turkish officials.

Gulen’s idea, Aytav said, is that “without science, religion turns to radicalism, and without religion, science is blind and brings the world to danger.”

The schools are putting into practice a Turkish Sufi philosophy that took its most modern form during the last century, after Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey’s founder, crushed the Islamic caliphate in the 1920s. Islamic thinkers responded by trying to bring Western science into the faith they were trying to defend. In the 1950s, while Arab Islamic intellectuals like Sayyid Qutub were firmly rejecting the West, Turkish ones like Said Nursi were seeking ways to coexist with it.

In Karachi, a sprawling city that has had its own struggles with radicalism — the American reporter Daniel Pearl was killed here, and the famed Binori madrasa here is said to have sheltered Osama bin Laden — the two approaches compete daily.

The Turkish school is in a poor neighborhood in the south of the city where residents are mostly Pashtun, a strongly tribal ethnic group whose poorer fringes have been among the most susceptible to radicalism. Kacmaz, who became principal 10 months ago, ran into trouble almost as soon as he began. The locals were suspicious of the Turks, who, with their ties and clean-shaven faces, looked like math teachers from Middle America.

“They asked me several times, ‘Are they Muslim? Do they pray? Are they drinking at night?’ “ said Ali Showkat, a vice principal of the school, who is Pakistani.

Goats nap by piles of rubbish near the school’s entrance, and Kacmaz asked a local religious leader to help get people to stop throwing their trash near the school, to no avail. Exasperated, he hung an Islamic saying on the outer wall of the school: “Cleanliness is half of faith.” When he prayed at a mosque, two young men followed him out and told him not to return wearing a tie because it was un-Islamic.

“I said, ‘Show me a verse in the Koran where it was forbidden,’ “ Kacmaz said, steering his car through tangled rush-hour traffic. The two men were wearing glasses, and he told them that scripturally, there was no difference between a tie and glasses.

“Behind their words there was no Hadith,” he said, referring to a set of Islamic texts, “only misunderstanding.”

That misunderstanding, along with the radicalism that follows, stalks the poorest parts of Quetta. Abdul Bari, a 31-year-old teacher of Islam from a religious family, lives in a neighborhood without electricity or running water. Two brothers from his tribe were killed on a suicide mission, leaving their mother a beggar and angering Bari, who says a Muslim’s first duty is to his mother and his family.

“Our nation has no patience,” said Bari, who raised his seven younger siblings, after his father died suddenly a dozen years ago. He decided that one of his brothers should be educated, and enrolled him in the Turkish school.

The Turks put the focus on academics, which pleased Bari, who said his dream was for Saadudeen, his brother, to lift the family out of poverty and expand its horizons beyond religion. Bari’s title, hafiz, means he has memorized the entire Koran, though he has no formal education. Two other brothers have earned the same distinction. Their father was an imam.

His is a lonely mission in a neighborhood where nearly all the residents are illiterate and most disapprove of his choices, Bari said. He is constantly on guard against extremism. He once punished Saadudeen for flying kites with the wrong kind of boys. At the Turkish school, the teenager is supervised around the clock in a dormitory.

“They are totally against extremism,” Bari said of the Turks. “They are true Muslims. They will make my brother into a true Muslim. He’ll deal with people with justice and wisdom. Not with impatience.”

Illiteracy is one of the roots of problems dogging the Muslim world, said Matiullah Aail, a religious scholar in Quetta who graduated from Medina University in Saudi Arabia.

In Baluchistan, Quetta’s sparsely populated province, the literacy rate is less than 10 percent, said Tariq Baluch, a government official in the Pasheen district. He estimated that about half of the district’s children attended madrasas.

Aail said: “Doctors and lawyers have to show their degrees. But when it comes to mullahs, no one asks them for their qualifications. They don’t have knowledge, but they are influential.”

That leads to a skewed interpretation of Islam, even by those schooled in it, according to Gulen and his followers.

“They’ve memorized the entire holy book, but they don’t understand its meaning,” said Kamil Ture, a Turkish administrator.

Kacmaz chimed in: “How we interpret the Koran is totally dependent on our education.”

In an interview in 2004, published in a book of his writings, Gulen put it like this: “In the countries where Muslims live, some religious leaders and immature Muslims have no other weapon in hand than their fundamental interpretation of Islam. They use this to engage people in struggles that serve their own purposes.”

Moderate as that sounds, some Turks say Gulen uses the schools to advance his own political agenda. Murat Belge, a prominent Turkish intellectual who has experience with the movement, said that Gulen “sincerely believes that he has been chosen by God,” and described Gulen’s followers as “Muslim Jesuits” who are preparing elites to run the country.

Hakan Yavuz, a Turkish professor at the University of Utah who has had extensive experience with the Gulen movement, offered a darker assessment.

“The purpose here is very much power,” Yavuz said. “The model of power is the Ottoman Empire and the idea that Turks should shape the Muslim world.”

But while radical Islamists seek to re-establish a seventh-century Islamic caliphate, without nations or borders, and more moderate Islamists, like Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, use secular democracy to achieve the goal of an Islamic state, Gulen is a nationalist who says he wants no more than a secular democracy where citizens are free to worship, a claim secular Turks find highly suspect.

Still, his schools are richly supported by Turkish businessmen. M. Ihsan Kalkavan, a shipping magnate who has built hotels in Nigeria, helped finance Gulen schools there, which he said had attracted the children of the Nigerian elite.

“When we take our education experiment to other countries, we introduce ourselves. We say, ‘See, we’re not terrorists.’ When people get to know us, things change,” Kalkavan said in his office in Istanbul.

He estimated the number of Gulen’s followers in Turkey at three million to five million. The network itself does not provide estimates, and Gulen declined to be interviewed.

The schools, which also operate in Christian countries like Russia, are not for Muslims alone, and one of their stated aims is to promote interfaith understanding. Gulen met the previous pope, as well as Jewish and Orthodox Christian leaders, and teachers in the schools say they stress multiculturalism and universal values.

“We are all humans,” said Kacmaz, the principal. “In Islam, every human being is very important.”

Pakistani society is changing fast, and more Pakistanis are realizing the importance of education, in part because they have more to lose, parents said. Abrar Awan, whose son is attending the Turkish school in Quetta, said he had grown tired of the attitude of the Islamic political parties he belonged to as a student. Now a government employee with a steady job, he sees real life as more complicated than black-and-white ideology.

“America or the West was always behind every fault, every problem,” he said, at a gathering of fathers in April. “Now, in my practical life, I know the faults are within us.”

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The Canadian Holocaust

April 12, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Warning: the abuses described below are described in graphic detail and are of a horrifying nature. If that will disturb you then please do not read this article.

Courtesy Rev. Kevin D. Annett

The following is an edited extract from the report, “Hidden From History: The Canadian Holocaust – The Untold Story of the Genocide of Aboriginal Peoples by Church and State in Canada – A Summary of an Ongoing, Independent Inquiry into Canadian Native ‘Residential Schools’ and their Legacy”, by Rev. Kevin D. Annett, MA, MDiv. The report is published by The Truth Commission into Genocide in Canada, a public investigative body continuing the work of previous Tribunals into native residential schools: The Justice in the Valley Coalition’s Inquiry into Crimes Against Aboriginal People, convened in Port Alberni, British Columbia, on December 9, 1994, and The International Human Rights Association of American Minorities Tribunal into Canadian Residential Schools, held in Vancouver, BC, from June 12-14, 1998. Editor.

FOREWORD

Jasper Joseph is a sixty-four-year-old native man from Port Hardy, British Columbia. His eyes still fill with tears when he remembers his cousins who were killed with lethal injections by staff at the Nanaimo Indian Hospital in 1944.

I was just eight, and they’d shipped us down from the Anglican residential school in Alert Bay to the Nanaimo Indian Hospital, the one run by the United Church. They kept me isolated in a tiny room there for more than three years, like I was a lab rat, feeding me these pills, giving me shots that made me sick. Two of my cousins made a big fuss, screaming and fighting back all the time, so the nurses gave them shots, and they both died right away. It was done to silence them. (November 10, 2000)

Unlike post-war Germans, Canadians have yet to acknowledge, let alone repent from, the genocide that we inflicted on millions of conquered people: the aboriginal men, women and children who were deliberately exterminated by our racially supremacist churches and state.

As early as November 1907, the Canadian press was acknowledging that the death rate within Indian residential schools exceeded 50% (see Appendix, Key Newspaper Articles). And yet the reality of such a massacre has been wiped clean from the public record and consciousness in Canada over the past decades. Small wonder; for that hidden history reveals a system whose aim was to destroy most native people by disease, relocation and outright murder, while “assimilating” a minority of collaborators who were trained to serve the genocidal system.

This history of purposeful genocide implicates every level of government in Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), every mainstream church, large corporations and local police, doctors and judges. The web of complicity in this killing machine was, and remains, so vast that its concealment has required an equally elaborate campaign of cover-up that has been engineered at the highest levels of power in our country; a cover-up that is continuing, especially now that eyewitnesses to murders and atrocities at the church-run native residential “schools” have come forward for the first time.

For it was the residential “schools” that constituted the death camps of the Canadian Holocaust, and within their walls nearly one-half of all aboriginal children sent there by law died, or disappeared, according to the government’s own statistics.

These 50,000 victims have vanished, as have their corpses – “like they never existed”, according to one survivor. But they did exist. They were innocent children, and they were killed by beatings and torture and after being deliberately exposed to tuberculosis and other diseases by paid employees of the churches and government, according to a “Final Solution” master plan devised by the Department of Indian Affairs and the Catholic and Protestant churches.

With such official consent for manslaughter emanating from Ottawa, the churches responsible for annihilating natives on the ground felt emboldened and protected enough to declare full-scale war on non-Christian native peoples through the 20th century.

The casualties of that war were not only the 50,000 dead children of the residential schools, but the survivors, whose social condition today has been described by United Nations human rights groups as that of “a colonized people barely on the edge of survival, with all the trappings of a third-world society”. (November 12, 1999)
The Holocaust is continuing

This report is the child of a six-year independent investigation into the hidden history of genocide against aboriginal peoples in Canada. It summarises the testimonies, documents and other evidence proving that Canadian churches, corporations and the government are guilty of intentional genocide, in violation of the United Nations Convention on Genocide, which Canada ratified in 1952 and under which it is bound by international law.

The report is a collaborative effort of nearly 30 people. And yet some of its authors must remain anonymous, particularly its aboriginal contributors, whose lives have been threatened and who have been assaulted, denied jobs and evicted from their homes on Indian reserves because of their involvement in this investigation.

As a former minister in one of the guilty institutions named in our inquiry – the United Church of Canada – I have been fired, blacklisted, threatened and publicly maligned by its officers for my attempts to uncover the story of the deaths of children at that church’s Alberni residential school.

Many people have made sacrifices to produce this report, so that the world can learn of the Canadian Holocaust, and to ensure that those responsible for it are brought to justice before the International Criminal Court.

Beginning among native and low-income activists in Port Alberni, British Columbia, in the fall of 1994, this inquiry into crimes against humanity has continued in the face of death threats, assaults and the resources of church and state in Canada.

It is within the power of the reader to honour our sacrifice by sharing this story with others and refusing to participate in the institutions which deliberately killed many thousands of children.

This history of official endorsement of, and collusion in, a century or more of crimes against Canada’s first peoples must not discourage us from uncovering the truth and bringing the perpetrators to justice.

It is for this reason that we invite you to remember not only the 50,000 children who died in the residential school death camps, but the silent victims today who suffer in our midst for bread and justice.

(Rev.) Kevin D. Annett
Secretary
The Truth Commission into Genocide in Canada
Vancouver, British Columbia, February 1, 2001

PART ONE: Summary of Evidence of Intentional Genocide in Canadian Residential Schools

Article II: The intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national ethnic, racial or religious group; namely, non-Christian aboriginal peoples in Canada

The foundational purpose behind the more than one hundred Indian residential schools established in Canada by government legislation and administered by Protestant and Catholic churches was the deliberate and persistent eradication of aboriginal people and their culture, and the conversion of any surviving native people to Christianity.

This intent was enunciated in the Gradual Civilization Act of 1857 in Upper Canada, and earlier, church-inspired legislation, which defined aboriginal culture as inferior, stripped native people of citizenship and subordinated them in a separate legal category from non-Indians. This Act served as the basis for the federal Indian Act of 1874, which recapitulated the legal and moral inferiority of aboriginals and established the residential school system. The legal definition of an Indian as “an uncivilized person, destitute of the knowledge of God and of any fixed and clear belief in religion” (Revised Statutes of British Columbia, 1960) was established by these Acts and continues to the present day.

Then, as now, aboriginals were considered legal and practical non-entities in their own land and, hence, inherently expendable.

This genocidal intent was restated time and again in government legislation, church statements and the correspondence and records of missionaries, Indian agents and residential school officials (see Documentation section). Indeed, it was the very raison d’être of the state-sanctioned Christian invasion of traditional native territories and of the residential school system itself, which was established at the height of European expansionism in the 1880s and persisted until 1984.

By definition, this aim was genocidal, for it planned and carried out the destruction of a religious and ethnic group: all those aboriginal people who would not convert to Christianity and be culturally extinguished. Non-Christian natives were the declared target of the residential schools, which practised wholesale ethnic cleansing under the guise of education.

As well, such “pagans” were the subject of government-funded sterilisation programs administered at church-run hospitals and tuberculosis sanatoriums on Canada’s west coast (see Article IId).

According to an eyewitness, Ethel Wilson of Bella Bella, BC, a United Church missionary doctor, George Darby, deliberately sterilised non-Christian Indians between 1928 and 1962 at the R. W. Large Memorial Hospital in Bella Bella. Ms Wilson, who is now deceased, stated in 1998:
Doctor Darby told me in 1952 that Indian Affairs in Ottawa was paying him for every Indian he sterilised, especially if they weren’t church-goers. Hundreds of our women were sterilised by Doctor Darby, just for not going to church. (Testimony of Ethel Wilson to International Human Rights Association of American Minorities IHRAAM Tribunal, Vancouver, BC, June 13, 1998)

According to Christy White, a resident of Bella Bella, records of these government-funded sterilisations at the R. W. Large Hospital were deliberately destroyed in 1995, soon after a much-publicised police investigation was to open into residential school atrocities in British Columbia. Ms White stated in 1998:
I worked at the Bella Bella hospital, and I know that Barb Brown, one of the administrators there, dumped sterilisation records at sea on two occasions. Some of the records were found washed up on the beach south of town. That was just after the cops opened their investigation into the schools, in the spring of 1995. They were covering their tracks. We all knew Ottawa was funding sterilisations, but we were told to keep quiet about it. (Testimony of Christy White to Kevin Annett, August 12, 1998)

Legislation permitting the sterilisation of any residential school inmate was passed in BC in 1933 and in Alberta in 1928 (see “Sterilization Victims Urged to Come Forward” by Sabrina Whyatt, Windspeaker, August 1998). The Sexual Sterilization Act of BC allowed a school principal to permit the sterilisation of any native person under his charge. As their legal guardian, the principal could thus have any native child sterilised. Frequently, these sterilisations occurred to whole groups of native children when they reached puberty, in institutions like the Provincial Training School in Red Deer, Alberta, and the Ponoka Mental Hospital. (Former nurse Pat Taylor to Kevin Annett, January 13, 2000)

Of equal historical significance is the fact that the Canadian federal government passed legislation in 1920, making it mandatory for all native children in British Columbia – the west coast of which was the least Christianised area among aboriginals in Canada – to attend residential schools, despite the fact that the same government had already acknowledged that the death rate due to communicable diseases was much higher in these schools and that, while there, the native children’s “constitution is so weakened that they have no vitality to withstand disease”. (A. W. Neill, West Coast Indian Agent, to Secretary of Indian Affairs, April 25, 1910)

That is, the Canadian government legally compelled the attendance of the most “pagan” and least assimilated of the native peoples in residential schools at precisely the time when the death rate in these schools had reached their pinnacle – about 40%, according to Indian Affairs officers like Dr Peter Bryce. This fact alone suggests a genocidal intent towards non-Christian aboriginals.

Article II (a): Killing members of the group intended to be destroyed

That aboriginal people were deliberately killed in the residential schools is confirmed by eyewitness testimonies, government records and statements of Indian agents and tribal elders. It is also strongly suggested by the bare fact that the mortality level in residential schools averaged 40%, with the deaths of more than 50,000 native children across Canada (see Bibliography, inc. the report of Dr Peter Bryce to Department of Indian Affairs Superintendent Duncan Campbell Scott, April 1909).

The fact, as well, that this death rate stayed constant across the years, and within the schools and facilities of every denomination which ran them – Roman Catholic, United, Presbyterian or Anglican – suggests that common conditions and policies were behind these deaths. For every second child to die in the residential school system eliminates the possibility that these deaths were merely accidental or the actions of a few depraved individuals acting alone without protection.

Yet not only was this system inherently murderous, but it operated under the legal and structural conditions which encouraged, aided and abetted murder and which were designed to conceal these crimes.

The residential schools were structured like concentration camps, on a hierarchical military basis under the absolute control of a principal appointed jointly by church and state, and who was usually a clergyman. This principal was even given legal guardianship rights over all students during the early 1930s by the federal government, at least in west coast residential schools. This action by the government was highly unusual, considering that native people were by law the legal wards of the state, and had been so since the commencement of the Indian Act. And yet such absolute power of the school principal over the lives of aboriginal students was a requirement of any system whose killing of aboriginals had to be disguised and later denied.

The residential schools were constructed behind this deception in such a way that the deaths and atrocities that constitute genocide could be hidden and eventually explained. In the Canadian context, this meant a policy of gradual but deliberate extermination under a protective legal umbrella, administered by “legitimate and trusted” institutions: the mainline churches.

It should be clarified from the outset that the decisions concerning the residential schools, including those which caused the deaths of children and resulting cover-ups, were officially sanctioned by every level of the churches that ran them and the government which created them. Only such sanction could have allowed the deaths to continue as they did – and the perpetrators to feel protected enough to operate with impunity for many years within the system, which they universally did.

Exposure to Diseases

In 1909, Dr Peter Bryce of the Ontario Health Department was hired by the Indian Affairs Department in Ottawa to tour the Indian residential schools in western Canada and British Columbia and report on the health conditions there. Bryce’s report so scandalised the government and the churches that it was officially buried and only surfaced in 1922 when Bryce – who was forced out of the civil service for the honesty of his report – wrote a book about it, entitled The Story of a National Crime (Ottawa, 1922).

In his report, Dr Bryce claimed that Indian children were being systematically and deliberately killed in the residential schools. He cited an average mortality rate of between 35% and 60%, and alleged that staff and church officials were regularly withholding or falsifying records and other evidence of children’s deaths.

Further, Dr Bryce claimed that a primary means of killing native children was to deliberately expose them to communicable diseases such as tuberculosis and then deny them any medical care or treatment – a practice actually referred to by top Anglican Church leaders in the Globe and Mail on May 29, 1953.

In March 1998, two native eyewitnesses who attended west coast residential schools, William and Mabel Sport of Nanaimo, BC, confirmed Dr Bryce’s allegation. Both of them claim to have been deliberately exposed to tuberculosis by staff at both a Catholic and a United Church residential school during the 1940s.

I was forced to sleep in the same bed with kids who were dying of tuberculosis. That was at the Catholic Christie residential school around 1942. They were trying to kill us off, and it nearly worked. They did the same thing at Protestant Indian schools, three kids to a bed, healthy ones with the dying. (Testimony of Mabel Sport to IHRAAM officers, Port Alberni, BC, March 31, 1998)

Reverend Pitts, the Alberni school principal, he forced me and eight other boys to eat this special food out of a different sort of can. It tasted really strange. And then all of us came down with tuberculosis. I was the only one to survive, ’cause my Dad broke into the school one night and got me out of there. All of the rest died from tuberculosis and they were never treated. Just left there to die. And their families were all told they had died of pneumonia. The plan was to kill us off in secret, you know. We all just began dying after eating that food. Two of my best friends were in that group that was poisoned. We were never allowed to speak of it or go into the basement, where other murders happened. It was a death sentence to be sent to the Alberni school. (Testimony of William Sport to IHRAAM officers, Port Alberni, BC, March 31, 1998)

Homicides

More overt killings of children were a common occurrence in residential schools, according to eyewitnesses. The latter have described children being beaten and starved to death, thrown from windows, strangled and being kicked or thrown down stairs to their deaths. Such killings occurred in at least eight residential schools in British Columbia alone, run by all three mainline denominations.

Bill Seward of Nanaimo, BC, age 78, states:

My sister Maggie was thrown from a three-storey window by a nun at the Kuper Island school, and she died. Everything was swept under the rug. No investigation was ever done. We couldn’t hire a lawyer at the time, being Indians. So nothing was ever done. (Testimony of Bill Seward, Duncan, BC, August 13, 1998)

Diane Harris, Community Health Worker for the Chemainus Band Council on Vancouver Island, confirms accounts of the murders.

We always hear stories of all the kids who were killed at Kuper Island. A graveyard for the babies of the priests and girls was right south of the school until it was dug up by the priests when the school closed in 1973. The nuns would abort babies and sometimes end up killing the mothers. There were a lot of disappearances. My mother, who is 83 now, saw a priest drag a girl down a flight of stairs by her hair and the girl died as a result. Girls were raped and killed, and buried under the floorboards. We asked the local RCMP to exhume that place and search for remains but they’ve always refused, as recently as 1996. Corporal Sampson even threatened us. That kind of cover-up is the norm. Children were put together with kids sick with TB in the infirmary. That was standard procedure. We’ve documented thirty-five outright murders in a seven-year period. (Testimony of Diane Harris to the IHRAAM Tribunal, June 13, 1998)

Evidence exists that active collusion from police, hospital officials, coroners, Indian Agents and even native leaders helped to conceal such murders. Local hospitals, particularly tuberculosis sanatoriums connected to the United and Roman Catholic churches, served as “dumping grounds” for children’s bodies and routinely provided false death certificates for murdered students.

In the case of the United Church’s Alberni residential school, students who discovered dead bodies of other children faced serious retribution. One such witness, Harry Wilson of Bella Bella, BC, claims that he was expelled from the school, then hospitalised and drugged against his will, after finding the body of a dead girl in May 1967.

Sadly, the two-tiered system of collaborators and victims created among native students at the schools continues to the present, as some of the state-funded band council officials – themselves former collaborators – appear to have an interest in helping to suppress evidence and silence witnesses who would incriminate not only the murderers but themselves as agents of the white administration.

A majority of the witnesses who have shared their story with the authors and at public tribunals on the west coast have described either seeing a murder or discovering a body at the residential school he or she attended. The body count, even according to the government’s own figures, was enormously high. Where, then, are all these bodies? The deaths of thousands of students are not recorded in any of the school records, Indian Affairs files or other documentation submitted thus far in court cases or academic publications on the residential schools. Some 50,000 corpses have literally and officially gone missing.

The residential school system had to hide not only the evidence of murder but the bodies as well. The presence of secret gravesites of children killed at Catholic and Protestant schools in Sardis, Port Alberni, Kuper Island and Alert Bay has been attested to by numerous witnesses. These secret burial yards also contained the aborted foetuses and even small babies who were the offspring of priests and staff at the schools, according to the same witnesses. One of them, Ethel Wilson of Bella Bella, claims to have seen “rows and rows of tiny skeletons” in the foundations of the former Anglican residential school of St Michael’s in Alert Bay when a new school was built there in the 1960s.
There were several rows of them, all lined up neatly like it was a big cemetery. The skeletons had been found within one of the old walls of St Mike’s school. None of them could have been very old, from their size. Now why would so many kids have been buried like that inside a wall, unless someone was trying to hide something? (Testimony of Ethel Wilson to Kevin Annett, Vancouver, BC, August 8, 1998)

Arnold Sylvester, who, like Dennis Charlie, attended Kuper Island school between 1939 and 1945, corroborates this account.

The priests dug up the secret gravesite in a real hurry around 1972 when the school closed. No one was allowed to watch them dig up those remains. I think it’s because that was a specially secret graveyard where the bodies of the pregnant girls were buried. Some of the girls who got pregnant from the priests were actually killed because they threatened to talk. They were sometimes shipped out and sometimes just disappeared. We weren’t allowed to talk about this. (Testimony of Arnold Sylvester to Kevin Annett, Duncan, BC, August 13, 1998)

Local hospitals were also used as a dumping ground for children’s bodies, as in the case of the Edmonds boy and his “processing” at St Paul’s Hospital after his murder at the Catholic school in North Vancouver. Certain hospitals, however, seem to have been particularly favourite spots for storing corpses.

The Nanaimo Tuberculosis Hospital (called The Indian Hospital) was one such facility. Under the guise of tuberculosis treatment, generations of native children and adults were subjected to medical experiments and sexual sterilisations at the Nanaimo Hospital, according to women who experienced these tortures (see Article IId). But the facility was also a cold storage area for native corpses.

The West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni not only stored children’s bodies from the local United Church residential school; it was also the place where abortions were performed on native girls who were made pregnant at the school by staff and clergy, and where newborn babies were disposed of and possibly killed, according to witnesses like Amy Tallio, who attended the Alberni school during the early 1950s.

Irene Starr of the Hesquait Nation, who attended the Alberni school between 1952 and 1961, confirms this.

Many girls got pregnant at the Alberni school. The fathers were the staff, teachers, the ones who raped them. We never knew what happened to the babies, but they were always disappearing. The pregnant girls were taken to the Alberni hospital and then came back without their babies. Always. The staff killed those babies to cover their tracks. They were paid by the church and government to be rapists and murderers. (Testimony of Irene Starr to Kevin Annett, Vancouver, BC, August 23, 1998)

Article II (b): Causing serious bodily or mental harm

Early in the residential schools era, the Indian Affairs Superintendent, Duncan Campbell Scott, outlined the purpose of the schools thus: “to kill the Indian within the Indian”.

Clearly, the genocidal assault on aboriginals was not only physical but spiritual: European culture wished to own the minds and the souls of the native nations, to turn the Indians it hadn’t killed into third-class replicas of white people.

Expressing the “virtues” of genocide, Alfred Caldwell, principal of the United Church school in Ahousat on Vancouver Island’s west coast, wrote in 1938:

The problem with the Indians is one of morality and religion. They lack the basic fundamentals of civilised thought and spirit, which explains their child-like nature and behaviour. At our school we strive to turn them into mature Christians who will learn how to behave in the world and surrender their barbaric way of life and their treaty rights which keep them trapped on their land and in a primitive existence. Only then will the Indian problem in our country be solved. (Rev. A. E. Caldwell to Indian Agent P. D. Ashbridge, Ahousat, BC, Nov 12, 1938)

The fact that this same principal is named by eyewitnesses as the murderer of at least two children – one of them in the same month that he wrote this letter – is no accident, for cultural genocide spills effortlessly over into killing, as the Nazis proved so visibly to the world.

Nevertheless, Caldwell’s letter illuminates two vital points for the purpose of this discussion of mental and bodily harm inflicted on native students: (a) the residential schools were a vast project in mind control, and (b) the underlying aim of this “re-programming” of native children was to force aboriginals off their ancestral lands in order to allow whites access to them.

To quote Alberni survivor Harriett Nahanee:

They were always pitting us against each other, getting us to fight and molest one another. It was all designed to split us up and brainwash us so that we would forget that we were Keepers of the Land. The Creator gave our people the job of protecting the land, the fish, the forests. That was our purpose for being alive. But the whites wanted it all, and the residential schools were the way they got it. And it worked. We’ve forgotten our sacred task, and now the whites have most of the land and have taken all the fish and the trees. Most of us are in poverty, addictions, family violence. And it all started in the schools, where we were brainwashed to hate our own culture and to hate ourselves so that we would lose everything. That’s why I say that the genocide is still going on. (Testimony of Harriett Nahanee to Kevin Annett, North Vancouver, BC, December 11, 1995)

It was only after the assumption of guardianship powers by the west coast school principals, between 1933 and 1941, that the first evidence of organised pedophile networks in those residential schools emerges. For such a regime was legally and morally free to do whatever it wanted to its captive native students.

The residential schools became a safe haven – one survivor calls it a “free fire zone” – for pedophiles, murderers and brutal doctors needing live test subjects for drug testing or genetic and cancer research.

Particular schools, such as the Catholic one at Kuper Island and the United Church’s Alberni school, became special centres where extermination techniques were practised with impunity on native children from all over the province, alongside the usual routine of beatings, rapes and farming out of children to influential pedophiles.

Much of the overt mental and bodily harm done to native students was designed to break down traditional tribal loyalties along kinship lines by pitting children against each other and cutting them off from their natural bonds. Boys and girls were strictly segregated in separate dormitories and could never meet.

One survivor describes never seeing her little brother for years, even though he was in the same building at the Alert Bay Anglican school. And when children at the schools broke into each other’s dormitories and older boys and girls were caught exchanging intimacies, the most severe punishments were universally applied. According to a female survivor who attended the Alberni school in 1959:

They used the gauntlet on a boy and girl who were caught together kissing. The two of them had to crawl naked down a line of other students, and we beat them with sticks and whips provided by the principal. The girl was beaten so badly she died from kidney failure. That gave us all a good lesson: if you tried having normal feelings for someone, you’d get killed for it. So we quickly learned never to love or trust anyone, just do what we were told to do. (Testimony of anonymous woman from the Pacheedat Nation, Port Renfrew, BC, October 12, 1996)

According to Harriett Nahanee:

The residential schools created two kinds of Indians: slaves and sell-outs. And the sellouts are still in charge. The rest of us do what we’re told. The band council chiefs have been telling everyone on our reserve not to talk to the Tribunal and have been threatening to cut our benefits if we do. (Harriett Nahanee to Kevin Annett, June 12, 1998)

The nature of that system of torture was not haphazard. For example, the regular use of electric shocks on children who spoke their language or were “disobedient” was a widespread phenomenon in residential schools of every denomination across Canada. This was not a random but an institutionalised device.

Specially constructed torture chambers with permanent electric chairs, often operated by medical personnel, existed at the Alberni and Kuper Island schools in British Columbia, at the Spanish Catholic school in Ontario, and in isolated hospital facilities run by the churches and Department of Indian Affairs in northern Quebec, Vancouver Island and rural Alberta, according to eyewitnesses.

Mary Anne Nakogee-Davis of Thunder Bay, Ontario, was tortured in an electric chair by nuns at the Catholic Spanish residential school in 1963 when she was eight years old. She states:

The nuns used it as a weapon. It was done on me on more than one occasion. They would strap your arms to the metal arm rests, and it would jolt you and go through your system. I don’t know what I did that was bad enough to have that done to me. (From The London Free Press, London, Ontario, October 22, 1996)

Such torture also occurred at facilities operated by the churches with Department of Indian Affairs money, similar to the sterilisation programs identified at the W. R. Large Memorial Hospital in Bella Bella and the Nanaimo Indian Hospital.

Frank Martin, a Carrier native from northern BC, describes his forcible confinement and use in experiments at the Brannen Lake Reform School near Nanaimo in 1963 and 1964:

I was kidnapped from my village when I was nine and sent off to the Brannen Lake school in Nanaimo. A local doctor gave me a shot and I woke up in a small cell, maybe ten feet by twelve. I was kept in there like an animal for fourteen months. They brought me out every morning and gave me electric shocks to my head until I passed out. Then in the afternoon I’d go for these X-rays and they’d expose me to them for minutes on end. They never told me why they were doing it. But I got lung cancer when I was eighteen and I’ve never smoked. (Videotaped testimony of Frank Martin to Eva Lyman and Kevin Annett, Vancouver, July 16, 1998)

Such quack experimentation combined with brutal sadism characterised these publicly funded facilities, especially the notorious Nanaimo Indian Hospital. David Martin of Powell River, BC, was taken to this hospital in 1958 at the age of five and used in experiments attested to by Joan Morris, Harry Wilson and other witnesses quoted in this report. According to David:

I was told I had tuberculosis, but I was completely healthy; no symptoms of TB at all. So they sent me to Nanaimo Indian Hospital and strapped me down in a bed there for more than six months. The doctors gave me shots every day that made me feel really sick, and made my skin all red and itchy. I heard the screams of other Indian kids who were locked away in isolation rooms. We were never allowed in there to see them. Nobody ever told me what they were doing to all of us in there. (David Martin to Kevin Annett, Vancouver, November 12, 2000)

A recurring and regular torture at the residential schools themselves was operating on children’s teeth without using any form of anaesthesia or painkiller. Two separate victims of this torture at the Alberni school describe being subjected to it by different dentists, decades apart. Harriett Nahanee was brutalised in that manner in 1946, while Dennis Tallio was “worked on by a sick old guy who never gave me painkillers” at the same school in 1965.

Dr Josef Mengele is reputed by survivors of his experiments to have worked out of Cornell University in New York, Bristol Labs in Syracuse, New York, and Upjohn Corporation and Bayer laboratories in Ontario. Mengele and his Canadian researchers, like the notorious Montreal psychiatrist Ewen Cameron, used prisoners, mental patients and native children from reserves and residential schools in their efforts to erase and reshape human memory and personality, using drugs, electric shocks and trauma-inducing methods identical to those employed for years in the residential schools.

Former employees of the federal government have confirmed that the use of “inmates” of residential schools was authorised for government-run medical experiments through a joint agreement with the churches which ran the schools.

According to a former Indian Affairs official:

A sort of gentlemen’s agreement was in place for many years: the churches provided the kids from their residential schools to us, and we got the Mounties to deliver them to whoever needed a fresh batch of test subjects: usually doctors, sometimes Department of Defense people. The Catholics did it big time in Quebec when they transferred kids wholesale from orphanages into mental asylums. It was for the same purpose: experimentation. There was lots of grant money in those days to be had from the military and intelligence sectors: all you had to do was provide the bodies. The church officials were more than happy to comply. It wasn’t just the residential school principals who were getting kickbacks from this: everyone was profiting. That’s why it’s gone on for so long. It implicates a hell of a lot of top people. (From the Closed Files of the IHRAAM Tribunal, containing the statements of confidential sources, June 12-14, 1998)

Such experiments and the sheer brutality of the harm regularly inflicted on children in the schools attest to the institutional view of aboriginals as “expendable” and “diseased” beings. Scores of survivors of 10 different residential schools in BC and Ontario have described under oath the following tortures inflicted on them and other children as young as five years old between the years 1922 and 1984:

* tightening fish twine and wire around boys’ penises;
* sticking needles into their hands, cheeks, tongues, ears and penises;
* holding them over open graves and threatening to bury them alive;
* forcing them to eat maggot-filled and regurgitated food;
* telling them their parents were dead and that they were about to be killed;
* stripping them naked in front of the assembled school and verbally and sexually degrading them;
* forcing them to stand upright for more than 12 hours at a time until they collapsed;
* immersing them in ice water;
* forcing them to sleep outside in winter;
* ripping the hair from their heads;
* repeatedly smashing their heads against concrete or wooden surfaces;
* daily beating without warning, using whips, sticks, horse harnesses, studded metal straps, pool cues and iron pipes;
* extracting gold teeth from their mouths without painkillers;
* confining them in unventilated closets without food or water for days;
* regularly applying electric shocks to their heads, genitals and limbs.

Perhaps the clearest summary of the nature and purpose of such sadism are the words of Bill Seward of Nanaimo, a survivor of the Kuper Island school:

The church people were worshipping the devil, not us. They wanted the gold, the coal, the land we occupied. So they terrorised us into giving it to them. How does a man who was raped every day when he was seven make anything out of his life? The residential schools were set up to destroy our lives, and they succeeded. The whites were terrorists, pure and simple. (Testimony of Bill Seward to Kevin Annett and IHRAAM observers, Duncan, BC, August 13, 1998)

Editor’s Note:

To obtain a copy of “Hidden From History: The Canadian Holocaust”, contact The Truth Commission into Genocide in Canada, c/- 6679 Grant Street, Burnaby, BC V5B 2K9, Canada, telephone +1 (604) 293 1972, email kevinannett@yahoo.ca or kevin_annett@hotmail.com, or visit the website: http://annett55.freewebsites.com. See review, NEXUS 9/01.

Extracted from Nexus Magazine, Volume 9, Number 2 (February-March 2002)
PO Box 30, Mapleton Qld 4560 Australia. editor@nexusmagazine.com
Telephone: +61 (0)7 5442 9280; Fax: +61 (0)7 5442 9381
From our web page at: www.nexusmagazine.com by Rev. Kevin D. Annett, MA, MDiv
© 2001 The Truth Commission into Genocide in Canada
Email: kevinannett@yahoo.ca
Email: kevin_annett@hotmail.com
Website: http://canadiangenocide.nativeweb.org

For the tragic video about the same issue, “Unrepentant,” please click here (or go to http://muslimmedianetwork.com/mmn/?p=886)

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