Reconciliation in Canada Is a Mess of Culpability, Responsibility and Who Holds the Power Now
Canada’s relationship with it’s First Nations’ people (FNP) is a complex issue. One where to complete the process of reconciliation, many people would have to sit at the table. Many more than actually ever will.
But many FNP blame the country Canada, the Liberal Party, and the current Prime Minister.
So where does the blame lie? Who needs to atone? And for what part?
What do FNP have the struggle with? I most often hear stories of authority being:
- the residential schools,
- the military,
- the police and
- child protection services.
The rest is homeowners or ‘settlers’ who want to keep the land they have worked on, but never really actually owned in many cases.
No one is denying that the FNP have faced a horrible history within our borders. That genocide has occurred and in some cases, is still occurring. In most cases, we just don’t know what to do about it.
….. resources and quotes
And here is a quick view with links if you want to read more of the timeline and culpability in Canada:
in 1534 the French navigator and explorer Jacques Cartier entered the Gulf of St. Lawrence and took possession of New France for King Francis I. In succeeding years Cartier ascended the St. Lawrence as far as the Lachine Rapids, to where Montreal now stands, and attempted, with Jean-François de La Rocque, sieur de (lord of) Roberval, to found a colony near what is now Quebec.
……. British Empire
September 13, 1759
Battle of Quebec: September 13, 1759
On September 13, 1759, the British under General James Wolfe (1727-59) achieved a dramatic victory when they scaled the cliffs over the city of Quebec to defeat French forces under Louis-Joseph de Montcalm on the Plains of Abraham (an area named for the farmer who owned the land)
….. Europeans in slave trade
The beginning of the Atlantic slave trade in the late 1400s disrupted African societal structure as Europeans infiltrated the West African coastline, drawing people from the center of the continent to be sold into slavery.New sugar and tobacco plantations in the Americas and Caribbean heightened the demand for enslaved people, ultimately forcing a total of 12.5 million Africans across the Atlantic and into slavery.
…… The Dominion of Canada
The British Parliament passed the British North America Act in 1867. The Dominion of Canada was officially born on July 1, 1867. Until 1982, July 1 was celebrated as “Dominion Day” to commemorate the day that Canada became a self-governing Dominion. Today it is officially known as Canada Day.
gov of Canada
…… the Cdn Constitution
Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau signed the Proclamation of the Constitution Act on April 17, 1982.
gov of Canada archives
…… a constitutional monarchy
In 1982, it adopted its own constitution and became a completely independent country. Although it’s still part of the British Commonwealth—a constitutional monarchy that accepts the British monarch as its own. Elizabeth II is Queen of Canada.
……. the House of Windsor reigns
Canada is a constitutional monarchy? As a constitutional monarch, Canada’s Head of State is a hereditary Sovereign (Queen or King), who reigns in accordance with the Constitution: the rule of law.
…… the Windsor crown owns the land here
The land of Canada is solely owned by Queen Elizabeth II who is also the head of state. Only 9.7% of the total land is privately owned while the rest is Crown Land. … The Canadian Act has no provision for any Canadian to own physical land in Canada. Canadians can only own an interest in an estate.
…… the Queen is head of state, the Prime Minister head of govt
The monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is the head of state, while the prime minister is the head of government. … The monarch is represented in Canada by the governor general and lieutenant governors.
……. the Queen’s emissary the GG is Commander in Chief of the Military
The Governor General is also Commander-in-Chief of Canada. He or she visits military bases and honours Canadian military personnel on behalf of The Queen. The Governor General also fulfills important ceremonial duties: Promoting a sense of identity.
gov of canada
…. To today’s Natl Police Force – the RCMP
Agency executives –
Queen Elizabeth II, Commissioner-in-chief
Charles, Prince of Wales, Honorary commissioner
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Honorary deputy commissioner
The North West Mounted Police was established in 1873 to bring Canadian authority to the North West Territories (present-day Alberta and Saskatchewan). Its jurisdiction grew to include the Yukon in 1895, the Arctic Coast in 1903 and northern Manitoba in 1912.
In 1920, the RNWMP absorbed the Dominion Police and became the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and was responsible for federal law enforcement in all provinces and territories.
…… Child Protection – waifs and strays
in the Bytown of 1893, abandoned and orphaned children roamed the streets, sleeping in doorways or dowsing down on the sawdust-covered floors of neighbourhood taverns. They scavenged for food, did odd jobs and, like some homeless youth of today, turned to petty theft and prostitution to survive. In the words of one area resident, “many children without families had to live like stray dogs.”
Out of this need sprung the seeds of The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa-Carleton and over the years, those seeds have been nurtured by the unflagging efforts and the caring of many. Their dedication has passed from generation to generation. Today, more than a century after its formation, the commitment of volunteers, caring citizens, and staff are helping The CASO reach out to another generation of children in need.
CAS – Ottawa third agency born
…. first Child Protection Act
The first Children’s Aid Society was established in Toronto in 1891, and the first Child Protection Act was passed in Ontario in 1893. This Act for the Prevention of Cruelty to and Better Protection of Children made the abuse of children an indictable offence for the first time.
…… New France – slavery
The colony of New France, founded in the early 1600s, was the first major settlement in what is now Canada. Slavery was a common practice in the territory. When New France was conquered by the British in 1759, records revealed that approximately 3,600 enslaved people had lived in the settlement since its beginnings.
To a tremendous extent, the enslavement of Indigenous peoples defines slavery in Canada. Fully two-thirds of the slaves in the colony of New France were Indigenous. After 1750, the number of Indigenous slaves brought into French Canada began to decline.
….. slavery abolished in Upper Canada first
John Graves Simcoe the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada most famously abolished slavery in Upper Canada in 1793, making it the first jurisdiction in the British Empire to do so. When Simcoe’s bill, An Act to Limit Slavery in Upper Canada, was debated in Upper Canada’s assembly, six of the assembly’s 16 members then owned slaves. Simcoe said that “[the] principles of the British Constitution do not admit of that slavery which Christianity condemns. The moment I assume the Government of Upper Canada under no modification will I assent to a law that discriminates by dishonest policy between natives of Africa, America, or Europe.”
senate of Canada
… first reserve in Canada
Government authorities began to create reserves in British Columbia in the 1850s
…… residential schools for First Nations of Canada
Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian and United churches.
…… first school
The Mohawk Institute
When did the first residential school in Canada open? The Mohawk Institute in Brantford, Ontario, accepted its first boarding students in 1831.
….. last school closed.
The Gordon Residential School in Punnichy, Saskatchewan, closed in 1996. It was the last federally-funded residential school in Canada.