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In her 1980 'From Colonialism to Economic Imperialism: The Experience of the Canadian Indian,' sociologist Gail Kellough likened the effects of the Indian Act to a forced march through European history because it created a feudal relationship on every reserve in Canada. Writing in 1970, Robertson notes:
"The Indian Affairs Branch is the lord of the manor. The Indian agent is the local manager. The lord has total control over the lives of his serfs, who neither own their land nor rent it. They are "crofters" permitted to live on the land and farm it but not for their own individual benefit. The lord or manager tells them what to plant and when to sow or harvest; he provides the equipment; he tells them when to sell the crop, and at what price."
What Kellough and other well-meaning Canadians looking sympathetically at Canada's "Indian Problem" don't mention is the intentional destruction of the national characteristics of indigenous peoples. Raphael Lemkin, who originated the concept of genocide, called this its stage one. Economy, governance, language, spiritual practice and customary law were all abolished by decree of the Indian Act. During that 84-year period: Indian Act Chief and Councils were established and traditional governance systems suppressed; John A Macdonald ordered forced starvation as collective punishment for the North-West Rebellion; the pass law controlling movement outside of reserves was implemented; and Duncan Campbell Scott's 'kill the Indian and spare the man' residential schools removed up to five generations of children from family homes, leaving the children thus 'schooled' in a mental/emotional state modern psychologists call 'Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.'
The cumulative effects of this 84-year period were:
– Killing members of the group.
– Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group.
– Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.
–Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.
–Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
For those not familiar, that is the definition of genocide as enshrined in the Genocide Convention, which Canada signed in 1949 and ratified in 1952.
By 1925, social scientists were rushing to reserves to observe the last of a 'dying breed'; it had become common sense to ordinary Canadians that 'Indians' would not and could not survive because of their natural inferiority; Darwinian notions of the survival of the fittest had been applied to human societies and 'Indians' were obviously slated for extinction.
The bottom line? Calculate Turtle Island's current market value and GDP and you'll get the picture. There is something called the Great Game going on, the international struggle for geopolitical control of the entire planet. Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island have been caught up in this game for over 500 years, most recently as pawns called 'Indians' created by the Captains of Industry and the Great Statesmen who claim the right to play the game.