A) Before You Read
B) READ: Chapter 3
How could your church and (groups of BIC churches) engage with someone who is First Nations to learn about their history and journey under the Indian Act and to hear what their hopes and dreams are for the future?
Why could it be important to do this? How could this be a step in reconciliation? Could contact in any way be damaging?
Under the Doctrine of Discovery, anyone who was not a part of Christianity was considered a “non-person”.
“It granted permission to enslave and kill aboriginals. It is the foundation of genocide.” Chief Stan Beardy at New Pathways Conference, Mississauga ON 14/03/14
Genocide means the systemic, planned, annihilation /destruction of a racial, political or cultural group.” From your reading thus far in King’s book, (see p. 72) do you agree that cultural genocide was the government’s agenda? Why or why not? Is there still evidence that this sentiment exists today?
When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission findings were presented in 2015, Senator Murray Sinclair suggested that the terminology and actions stemming from the Indian Act, further exposed the government’s agenda to “kill the Indian/rid Canada of the Indian” and created structures to fully assimilate Native people into Canadian mainstream culture. Sinclair used the term “cultural genocide”, as others before him had, to describe this agenda. On page 101, King calls it, “extermination and assimilation.” The TRC unveiled that many children in residential schools were denied basic human rights – health, education, food, loving relationships. The children experienced dispossession and oppression, were forced to destroy culture and were not honoured.
- a) With these reflections in mind, why do you think activists, survivors, and scholars fought to have the residential schools’ activity classified as genocide?
b) How does knowing this put you in touch with the grief and sorrow of Native people?
Describe how the Doctrine of Discovery was used to justify colonial expansion.
D) Comment on the Facebook Page
Oh Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds
and whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me.
I am a (human) before you, one of your many children.
I am small and weak. I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunsets.
Make my hands respect the things you have made, my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may know the things you have taught my people, the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock. I seek strength, Oh Creator, not to be superior to my brothers (others), but to be able to fight my greatest enemy, myself.
Make me ever ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eye, so that when life fades, at the setting sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame.
– Prayer by Yellow Hawk, Sioux Chief (from www.starstuffs.com/prayers/prays2.htm)