AS THE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION Commission of Canada hosts its national event this week, in Edmonton, the topic of genocide is once again surfacing. Usually the topic is posed as a question: is Canada “guilty of genocide”? Over the years, I’ve had many conversations that began with this question, and I’ve done a fair amount of reading and thinking. Here are my notes toward an informed conversation about Canada and genocide.
Much of the Indian Country coffee-shop chat in southern Ontario these days concerns Ottawa’s Bill C-10, “Tackling Contraband Tobacco Act,” introduced by the Canadian Government in November 2013. Vocal champions of this bill (apart from the government) include the Canadian Convenience Stores Association and the Retail Council of Canada. So a more plainly descriptive title for this legislation might be “A Bill to Prevent the Mohawks from Cutting Into Our Business.”
IT’S BEEN ONE YEAR since the Attawapiskat First Nation housing crisis became a widely deliberated point, and perhaps that Attawapiskat itself became a known point on the map of Canada. It thus happens that the current hunger strike of Chief Theresa Spence is among other things an anniversary marker of a sort.