By: Hubert Anderson
I hate to be the one to say it, because I consider myself a long time supporter of indigenous Canadians. But in my opinion the claim in the MMIWG Final Report that the deaths of thousands of indigenous women, girls and two-spirit peoples amounted to a genocide is blatantly ridiculous. And I should know. I’m a professional opinion haver who gets paid to have opinions.
According to a google search I just did, genocide means “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” Could this theoretically mean creating a situation so perilous to a disenfranchised group that you were responsible for their attempted destruction even if you did not actually kill them yourself? I’m going to say no.
I’ve been writing my column ever since I was shuffled into editorial writing from sports by my old boss Jimmy. Jimmy told me I’d be good at this because I “called it like I see it” and “could write pretty fast.” Ever since that bourbon soaked lunch in 1986 I’ve been doing both of these things quite well thank you very much. And I’m more than willing to put my abilities head to head against the legal knowledge of the judges and community leaders on the commission who have spent the last 3 years studying this issue.
Maybe I’m being a stickler, but I think the word genocide should be reserved for true tragedies like the Holocaust, the Rwandan Genocide and other events that happened long enough ago and far enough away that they do not cause us to consider our own guilt or make changes to our current society. I guess that isn’t very “woke” of me. Apologies.
Sure, there are still questions to be answered. “Was the Report’s use of the term genocide not purely limited to the missing and murdered women but the broader issue of Canada’s past and present treatment of indigenous Canadians?” I guess. “Are people with agendas seizing on the use of the word genocide as a way to dismiss the other devastating conclusions as well as the heartbreaking testimony from indigenous Canadians themselves?” Possibly. “Is that what I am doing at this very moment?” Don’t worry about it.
The point is we need to tone down the rhetoric if we want to move on and get back to a place of passively ignoring indigenous issues so we can focus on how taxes are bad. Speaking of, I just had a great idea for my next column: why the Carbon Tax is worse than the Killing Fields of Cambodia!