Hidden from History:
The Canadian Holocaust
Canada and its Churches are Accused of Genocide by Major Guatemalan Indigenous Organizations
Vancouver, May 23:
On Thursday, May 20, 2004, a representative of three major indigenous groups in Guatemala presented a formal protest letter or “denuncia” to Monica Izaguire of the Canadian Embassy in Guatemala City.
This protest letter accused Canada and its mainline churches of committing and concealing acts of Genocide against its native populations for more than a century, in their Indian Residential Schools and hospitals.
The letter called for the Canadian government to support an international investigation into these allegations of Genocide by Canada and its churches.
The letter was endorsed and signed by the Defensoria Indigena, the Consejo de Esperanza of San Andres Itzapa, and the Consejo Asesor Indigena of San Andres Itzapa.
To quote the letter,
“To the Government and Prime Minister of Canada,
“We are deeply alarmed and concerned by the fact that crimes of Genocide are alleged to have been committed against the indigenous peoples of Canada by your government and by the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian and United Church of Canada.
“According to eyewitnesses and official documentation, these crimes are alleged to include murder, torture, rape, involuntary sexual sterilization, forced labour, biological warfare, medical experimentation, land theft, cultural eradication, pedophilia, and the conducting of a prolonged war of extermination against non-Christian aboriginal people.
“These crimes are alleged to have occured for more than a century in the state-sponsored and church-run Indian Residential Schools which legally interred every Indian child across Canada between the years 1890 and 1984. During this period, more than 50,000 children died in these schools, according to the statistics of your own Department of Indian Affairs. Most of the bodies of these dead children have never been located or recovered.
“According to the evidence before us, paid employees and officials of these Indian Residential Schools perpetrated, condoned and concealed every act defined as Genocide by the United Nations Convention on the Prevention of Genocide, which was passed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, and ratified by Canada in 1952.
“The same evidence indicates that the highest officials of church and state in Canada knew of these crimes and continually approved them as a matter of policy. As such, your government and the churches in question appear to be responsible for having committed and concealed intentional Genocide, as defined by the United Nations.
“We understand that your government and the churches in question have only acknowledged the physical and sexual attacks on native children in these schools, and have refused to take responsibility for any of the other crimes attested to by eyewitness survivors. In this way, your institutions can be considered to be openly violating international law, and holding yourselves unaccountable for crimes against humanity committed by your employees and accountable officials.
“As representatives of indigenous organizations throughout the Americas, we therefore call upon your government and the churches in question to abide by morality and international law, and do the following:
“1. Support a motion before the United Nations General Assembly and the International Criminal Court to establish an International War Crimes Tribunal into Genocide in Canada.
“2. Surrender to this Tribunal all evidence held by your government and the churches in question pertaining to any and all crimes committed against indigenous people and their land, including murder and Genocide.
“3. Surrender to this Tribunal the names of all persons who are guilty of such crimes in the Indian Residential Schools.
“4. Respond publicly to the allegations of Genocide made against your government and the churches in question by survivors of the residential schools.
“5. Revoke the charitable, tax free status of the churches in question on the grounds that they are accused of having committed and concealed crimes against humanity, and should therefore not be subsidized and aided by the public until these allegations are proved or disproved.
“We are communicating this appeal to the world community and its media, prior to further public action on this matter.”
This statement has been delivered to the world press, as the first in a series of further denuncias anticipated by the Guatemalan indigenous groups, which are working with The Truth Commission into Genocide in Canada to make these facts known.
For more information, contact The Truth Commission into Genocide through this email or (in Canada) at 1-888-265-1007.
Kevin D. Annett, Secretary
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