by Winter Rabbit | 6/11/2009 07:34:00 PM
There’s a reason Kevin Annett has a petition stating, "apparent refusal to investigate suspected crime sites related to the mass burials of children who died in Indian residential schools."

The child was touched without permission, during this time the assailant was holding what we can easily refer to as a “deadly weapon” given that you could hypothetically be killed by a pair of scissors. In fact, it is not a stretch to imagine this happening.

Speculating, one reason for the petition is so that the horrid history of genocide, of which cultural genocide is included in my opinion, will stop repeating.

The child is native and therefore having long hair is not simply a fashion statement but rather something tied to the child’s culture. Cutting off the hair of male native children was regularly done at residential schools, where the goal was to “kill the indian and save the child“.

"If a First Nations teacher had taken the same actions with a non-native child, there would have been a swift and strong response," Falconer said. "The Crown attorney wouldn't be confused about the definition of consent and those non-native children would have been deemed worthy of protection.

"The message here is that First Nations children are somehow less worthy of protection than non-native children."

So, a teaching assistant trimmed the bangs of a seven year old First Nations child in order to "facilitate the child’s reading." The teaching assistant did so instead of contacting the parents, asking them to braid their child’s hair, or to have it tied back to facilitate the child’s education. There are aural means of teaching children to read, and it’s simply ridiculous to imagine the child’s hair was so long, their work could not be done. What makes this cultural genocide?

Falconer said the parents had come to the school in the fall after the same teacher's aide ridiculed their older son, who also keeps his hair long. They explained that the boys wear their hair long in order to participate in ceremonial First Nations' dancing.

That does. No wonder Canada and the US didn't sign the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

In analyzing the individual parts of the Declaration, we see that all new rules of customary international law, as found in our respective surveys of state and international practice of 1999, 2001, and 2004, still remain part of the global consensus. As stated in 1999, “indigenous peoples are entitled to maintain and develop their distinct cultural identity, their spirituality, their language, and their traditional ways of life.” Most of the provisions of the Declaration go to the preservation of culture, language, religion, and identity; and state practice in the states with indigenous peoples largely conforms to these legal tenets. Due to the strength of the indigenous renascence throughout the world, the original goal of assimilation of indigenous cultures into the maelstrom of the modern world has largely been abandoned in favor of preservation and reinvigoration of indigenous cultures, languages and religions. The legal guarantees of these claims are, however, not the real bones of contention.

The original draft of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, prepared by the United Nations (UN) Secretariat and based on the work of Lemkin, included definitions of physical genocide, biological genocide, and cultural genocide. The latter was defined as follows:
Destroying the specific characteristics of the group by:

• (a) forcible transfer of children to another human group; or

• (b) forced and systematic exile of individuals representing the culture of a group; or

• (c) prohibition of the use of the national language even in private intercourse; or

• (d) systematic destruction of books printed in the national language or of religious works or prohibition of new publications; or

• (e) systematic destruction of historical or religious monuments or their diversion to alien uses, destruction or dispersion of documents and objects of historical, artistic, or religious value and of objects used in religious worship.

To conclude, the reason that what the teacher’s assistant did was cultural genocide can be found conclusively in “(e).” If the specific tribe the child is a part of believes as I do, that my body is my only possession and that it is all I have to offer to the Creator or something similar,

Falconer said the parents had come to the school in the fall after the same teacher's aide ridiculed their older son, who also keeps his hair long. They explained that the boys wear their hair long in order to participate in ceremonial First Nations' dancing.

then that would by definition be "destruction or dispersion of documents and objects of historical, artistic, or religious value and of objects used in religious worship." Except for the fact, that the child’s hair is no mere “object.” Furthermore, until we respect all differences of culture, we will not achieve the peace we all so desperately want and need.

Newcomb: Dehumanization in U.S. Indian Law and Policy

The dehumanization of our Indian peoples has been manifested in many ways. The countless massacres, the forced removals, the boarding schools that tore Indian children away from their extended families, communities and nations, the sterilizations of Indian women in IHS hospitals in the 1970s, the attack on our languages, on our spiritual and ceremonial traditions, on our sacred places. These are just a few examples of the ways in which we have been continuously dehumanized by the United States.

- snip -

Why weren’t Indian peoples considered to have human rights? Simple; they weren’t considered fully human. Upon reflection, dehumanization is what made the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples imperative. Its adoption by the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 13, 2007, was a long-awaited endorsement of the fundamental human rights of indigenous peoples. It was the result of decades of work to put an end to the dehumanization of indigenous nations and peoples globally. Passage of that document sends the message that because indigenous peoples are fully human we possess and have always possessed fundamental human rights, including the collective right of self-determination, despite centuries of being regarded and treated as not fully human.



Blogger Ahistoricality on 6/11/2009 7:58 PM:

I wouldn't let any children near a teacher who did that, unless the teacher had been severely reprimanded and retrained.

Native rights aside, it's a violation of the child's personal rights, of parental rights, and an implicit threat to all non-conforming families.

So much for "nice" Canadians.


Blogger Winter Rabbit on 6/11/2009 8:31 PM:

Exactly. I went to bed so mad the night before writing this. Over at Kos, there was someone claiming to be on the discipline board.

When these diaries hit the Rec list, and the liberal media we know gets some of their material for their shows from blogs, including Kos (especially when the use Kos TV) - I keep asking myself why they can bravely report on torture, but not this?


Anonymous talapus pete on 6/13/2009 6:16 PM:

I'm not sure this guy, Annett, is entirely, ahh, trustworthy.


Blogger Winter Rabbit on 6/14/2009 12:18 AM:

Posted by Brenda Norrell - April 18, 2008 at 9:57 pm

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 26 years. She is currently based in Tucson and covers Mexico, the U.S. borders and the West, focusing on Indigenous Peoples and human rights. She recently cohosted the five-month Longest Walk talk radio across America, with American Indians walking for sacred Mother Earth.

Mass Graves Revealed of Indian Children in Canadian Schools

"The horror of the genocide in Canada's Indian Residential Schools became public, as the locations of 28 mass graves of Indian children were revealed.

An unknown number of Indian children died in captivity at Indian Residential Schools in Canada.

The murders included children killed in electric chairs. Some of the bodies were incinerated in the school furnaces, while others were buried in mass graves.

Eyewitness Sylvester Greene described how he helped bury a young Inuit boy at the United Church's Edmonton residential school in 1953.

"We were told never to tell anyone by Jim Ludford, the Principal, who got me and three other boys to bury him. But a lot more kids got buried all the time in that big grave next to the school.""


Blogger Winter Rabbit on 6/14/2009 12:25 AM:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Amnesty International Raps Canada on Native Women's Issues Too
This from CaTV:

Amnesty International's annual report on human rights is criticizing Canada for its failure to protect native girls and women who are killed or go missing.

The survey also slams the Harper government for stalled native land claims, and for cutting funds to groups that advance women's rights.


Blogger Winter Rabbit on 6/14/2009 12:35 AM:

"In October, the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women called on Canada to “take the necessary steps to remedy the deficiencies in the system” with respect to murdered or missing Indigenous women. The Committee also called for restrictions on funding the advocacy activities of women’s groups to be lifted and for the establishment of an oversight mechanism for women prisoners."