Jul 6, 2021, 11:42 AM
Journalist ID: 1842
News Code: 84394791
1 Persons


Canada, the cultural genocide, humanitarian catastrophe

Tehran, IRNA - The discovery of the remains of 215 indigenous children in a mass grave on the site of a boarding school in Canada, which is a case of "cultural genocide", indicates a humanitarian catastrophe and a clear violation of human rights.

Indigenous persecution in North America, especially in the United States and Canada, has a long and painful history. Artifacts from the lives of Canada's first indigenous people who lived in one part of the country for a long time, as well as archeological excavations in the northernmost part of the country, the Yukon, show that the natives were the original owners of the land and have lived in the area for 9,500 years. .

In 1497, a British sailor named John Cabot established a British colony after reaching the shores of Newfoundland. About 40 years later, a French sailor named Jacques Cartier stepped into the mouth of the Saint Laurent River near Montreal and established French colonies. The natives of this land, who were hospitable according to their culture, welcomed the white Europeans. The name Canada, derived from the Indian word Kanata meaning "village", was given to this land and, on the advice of the colonizers, was recorded in the maps in 1547 under the same Canadian name.

Indigenous Canadians, who had always lived in peace, were no longer welcome with the arrival of wealthy Europeans who were thinking of colonialism, and their rights were violated at various times. After the formation of a country called Canada in the 19th century, the government called Indigenous people uncivilized and, in order to "introduce Indigenous people to modern culture," separated Indigenous Canadian children from their families and tribes and placed them in boarding schools. The main goal of the colonialists was to completely alienate the new generations from their native culture in order to accept the white Europeans as the owners of civilization.

Under the policy, tens of thousands of Native Canadian children from hundreds of tribes were sent to such schools and were allowed to return to their tribe and family only after finishing high school.

Over time, the forced removal of indigenous children from their families and the ban on speaking the indigenous language or engaging in cultural activities related to that tribe not only alienated them from the Hood culture but also had devastating effects such as sexual abuse. Ten years ago, the Committee to Investigate Canada's Indigenous Children Segregation Committee released new details on the abuse, sexual and physical abuse of Indigenous children.

According to the BBC Farsi, "George Manuel, one of the people who was in these schools in the 1920s, said: 'All the native students were suffering from hunger.' Schools were also cold in the winters and unsanitary. Students were also exposed to measles, influenza, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases, and many died."

But the discovery of mass graves belongs to missing children whose deaths were not announced. Some of the remains belong to children about three years old, whose cause and time of death are still unknown. The remains were found in a boarding school founded in 1890 during the rule of the Catholic Church and closed in 1978.

Indigenous Canadians have long asked the Canadian government, which claims to defend human rights, to identify mass graves in boarding schools, but Canadian officials have refused to do so. Now that mass graves have been found, evidence shows that there have been at least 3,201 deaths in boarding schools.

Following the revelation of this tragic tragedy, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, was forced to express his shock and concern at the discovery of the remains of these children, calling it a painful reminder of a dark and shameful chapter in Canadian history. The Canadian government tried to blame the Catholic Church for its crimes and to share the burden of the scandal.

In implementing the policy, people were encouraged to attack 10 churches on Canadian National Day, and Canadian police linked the attacks to Indigenous anger over the discovery of their children's bodies and a history of injustice. Since then, several churches have been set on fire in Canada's more indigenous western provinces.

The discovery of mass graves showing the Canadian government's lack of attention to human rights and moral and human standards should not be underestimated by the international community. In a statement read by Jiang Doan, a senior UN official, the Chinese delegation called for a thorough and impartial investigation into all crimes against Indigenous peoples, especially Canadian children. The statement, backed by countries such as Iran, Russia, Belarus, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela, said the perpetrators should be brought to justice.

Although this joint action was necessary, it is not sufficient and appropriate for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Judiciary Human Rights Headquarters, the Legal Department of the Ministry of Justice, NGOs and the media in both formal and informal areas to advocate for the rights of Native Canadians and Condemn human rights violations by this country.

The Islamic Republic of Iran can take the initiative and in consultation with progressive and human rights defenders, expose human rights defenders such as Canada and prevent similar crimes against Indigenous peoples.

By Mohsen Pakaein


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