To the Expositor:
Undoubtedly, there will be short-term outrage over the recent discovery of unreported bodies of Indigenous children at Canadian residential schools using ground penetrating sonar.
One of the most painful tasks of Canada’s seven-year Truth and Reconciliation Commission was an attempt to quantify the sheer number of Indigenous children who died at the many Indian Residential Schools, created by the Canadian government and operated by the Catholic Church, along with other protestant religious groups. The commission ultimately determined at least 3,200 children died while a student at a residential school: one in every 50 students enrolled during the program’s nearly 120-year existence. That’s a death rate comparable to the number of Canadian POWs who died in the custody of Nazi Germany during the Second World War. (This figure is considered a conservative estimate and most likely should be at least double that number.) The result is that many of Canada’s most notorious residential schools sit amid sprawling cemeteries of unmarked children’s graves.
However, this does not compare to the over 20,000 deaths of Wendat people from smallpox in the mid-17th century in Wendake (Huronia), adjacent the southeast corner of Georgian Bay in Lake Huron. Despite the continued denial by the Pope and the Society of Jesus (a religious order of the Catholic Church), the French Jesuits were responsible for bringing smallpox and other deadly viruses that the First Nations lacked immunity to. In this day of the COVID pandemic, we might remember the millions of Indigenous people who died in previous centuries, throughout North and South America, a genocide perpetuated by ruthless imperialistic cultures. (Estimates of Indigenous death after the arrival of Europeans vary, but circle around 80 percent of over a 100 million.)
Ironically, these various imperialistic governments have attempted to justify reducing the global population, of groups considered racially inferior, through the smug notion of “eugenics.” Though this set of beliefs and practices aim to improve the “genetic” quality of the human population, it briefly fell out of favour due to the bad press received by the white supremacist policies of Nazi Germany. However, ever since the end of WWII and the upswing of economic-liberal policies, the corporate power of multi-national drug companies has resulted in the replacement of the word “eugenics” with “genetics.” Should be no surprise that spiritual and holistic medicinal practices have been trivialized or outlawed and replaced by expensive pharmaceutical drugs and surgical procedures often plagued with deadly side-effects. Even the concept of rural self-sufficiency by growing one’s own food has been suppressed by the toxic use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
The replacement of a diversity of heirloom seeds with expensive genetically modified seeds has been responsible for the global death of family farms and their replacement with factory farms. Apparently, government eugenic policies are alive and well. Now, poor and even middle class white folk are vulnerable to the predations of paranoid and psychopathic billionaire CEOs and politicians.
Derek Stephen McPhail