Saturday, May 30, 2015

Speech by Chief Justice of Canada - Canada Attempted Cultural Genocide Against Aboriginal Peoples

Earlier this week, Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin gave the fourth annual Pluralism Lecture of the Global Centre for Pluralism, founded in 2006 by the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims.

In that speech,  Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin described what she called the attempt by Canadian governments since the 19th century to commit “cultural genocide” against aboriginal peoples.

According to a May 28th article in the Globe and Mail, the Chief Justice’s use of the term “unparalleled” in Canadian history:
"Peter Russell, a political science professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, said that Chief Justice McLachlin shares with virtually all Supreme Court judges since a landmark rights case in 1990 'a tremendous sense of sorrow about the denial of very fundamental rights to Canada’s native people'."

"Chief Justice McLachlin, who has been on the court since 1989 and chief since 2000, is its longest-serving chief justice. She cited early laws barring treaty Indians from leaving reservations, rampant starvation and disease and the denial of the right to vote."

"She also pointed to the outlawing of aboriginal religious and social traditions, such as the potlatch and the sun dance, and to residential schools, in which children who had been taken from their parents were forbidden to speak their native languages, forced to wear white man’s clothing, forced to observe Christian religious practices and sometimes subjected to sexual abuse."
The full speech can be seen on the website of the Globe and Mail.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:01 pm

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