Transcript: Is it really genocide? In Canada? | Oct 01, 2019

I know how it sounds.
Genocide.
In Canada?
Maybe your first instinct
is to deny it.
I challenge you to listen
and consider the truth of it.
Because for Indigenous people,
there is no debate.
I am a survivor of genocide.
I'm a survivor of genocide.
I am surviving genocide.
What do you know
about Canada's epidemic
of missing and murdered
Indigenous women and girls?
This group includes
Two-Spirited and LGBTQ+ people.
In 2019, we received the results
of a national inquiry.
It took almost three years
and decades
of research into account.
The report says
Canada has committed
and continues
to commit genocide.
Genocide.
Genocide.
When most people hear genocide,
they think of mass killings
like in Rwanda or Nazi Germany.
However, in Canada,
it's death by a million
papercuts for generations.
The policies that
were enacted against my people
were designed
to eliminate my existence.
This is why the report includes
all Indigenous peoples
across Canada.
So, how did Canada
respond to this report?
Unfortunately,
there was a lot of denial.
TANYA:
Denial is a tool of genocide.
For those of us living
on this side of the issue,
we know that genocide
is the correct word.
We're intimately aware
of the reality
that Canada
doesn't want us to exist.
It's genocide.
It's genocide.
It's genocide.
According to the United Nations,
genocide is acts committed with
intent to destroy, in whole,
or in part, a national, ethnic,
racial, or religious group.
There are five different acts
that qualify as genocide.
Where should we begin?
How about in the 1700s with
smallpox-infested blankets?
Scalping bounties offered
by the governor of Nova Scotia.
Ethnic cleansing through
starvation on the Prairies.
Starlight tours.
That's when the police
drive you outside city limits
and abandon you in the winter
to die of hypothermia.
In fact, disproportionate
numbers of Indigenous people
die in police-related
deaths across the board.
The residential school system
killed as many as
6,000 children.
They knew what was happening.
These children were subjected to
unhealthy living conditions.
Malnutrition.
Medical experimentation.
Sexual assault.
Electrocution.
You heard that right.
At St. Anne's
Indian Residential School,
they made their own electric
chair to punish the children.
That's why they made reserves,
and Canada has a long history
of underfunding
essential services there.
In fact, in recent years,
Canada has been issued
seven non-compliance orders
from the Canadian
Human Rights Tribunal
for underfunding on-reserve
child welfare services.
And did you know about
the over-incarceration
of Indigenous peoples?
In Saskatchewan,
for example, nine out of 10 men
put in detention centres
are Indigenous.
Nine out of 10.
Forced sterilization
was common practice
with residential
school children.
It was Canada's
official policy up until 1972.
Over 100 cases
of coerced sterilization
of Indigenous women
have been reported in the time
since they repealed that policy.
The Sixties Scoop.
Up to 20,000 Indigenous children
were taken from their families.
Residential schools.
Up to 150,000
Indigenous children
were taken from their families.
The Millennium Scoop.
More than half of the children
currently in Canadian
foster care are Indigenous,
taken from their families.
For the past 150 years,
this country
has taught its children,
its future police officers,
politicians, doctors,
and editors to look away
from Canada's true history,
to avert their eyes
to the "Indian Problem,"
or to treat it as a problem of
Indigenous peoples' own making.
It's still happening right now.
There is a violence and
a complicity in looking away.
Inaction is an action too.
So long as we deny
Canada's true history,
violence and oppression
can and will continue to happen.
How do we make Canada a safe
place for Indigenous people,
and especially
for women and girls?
For me, it means doing
the equal and opposite
of what was done to us.
It means rooting ourselves
in our cultural knowledge
and supporting women
as they teach the next
generations to do the same.
Since the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission,
the word "reconciliation"
has almost lost all meaning.
There will be no
reconciliation in this country
without basic human rights,
without equity,
without equality
for our Indigenous people.
If Canada wants to help us
move forward from this,
it needs to follow the
recommendations of the report.
Read the report.
Read the report
and learn what's in it.

Watch: Is it really genocide? In Canada?