Suffer the Little Children: Genocide, Indigenous Nations, and the Canadian State

Event

Chancellor Day Hall NCDH 316, 3644 rue Peel, Montreal, QC, H3A 1W9, CA
Price: 
Free

The McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and the Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Social Movement Learning and Knowledge Production present Tamara Starblanket, Native Education College, BC. She will speak about her book, Suffer the Little Children: Genocide, Indigenous Nations, and the Canadian State (Clarity Press, 2018). Moderator: Associate Professor Aziz Choudry, Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Social Movement Learning and Knowledge Production, Faculty of Education, McGill University.

Abstract

In her recently released book, Starblanket examines how genocide is operationalized in Canada, focused primarily on breaking the intergenerational transmission of Indigenous Peoples’ national identities from parents to children by the forcible removals from the Indigenous Nations on Turtle Island to the residential school system and present day removals in the child welfare system. Seeking to absorb the new generations into a different identity: English-speaking, Christian, Anglo-Saxon, termed Canadian, Canada seized children from their parents and Nations, and oversaw and enforced the stripping of their cultural beliefs, spirituality, languages and traditions, replacing them by those established by the Canadian state. She outlines the array and extent of the destruction which inevitably took place as part of the effort to bring about such a wrenching change—forcible indoctrination by means of massive and widespread death by disease and dilapidated living conditions, torture, forced starvation, forced labor, and sexual predation—collateral destruction to Canada’s effort to absorb diverse original nations into one larger, alien and dominating body politic.

Concluding the lecture, she will present a short reading from her book.

About the speaker

Tamara Starblanket is a Nehiyaw Iskwew (Cree woman) from Ahtahkakoop First Nation in Treaty Six Territory. Tamara holds an LLM from the University of Saskatchewan, and an LLB from the University of British Columbia. Her undergraduate degree is in political science from Simon Fraser University. She is Co-Chair of the North American Indigenous Peoples' Caucus (NAIPC). She presently teaches in and coordinates the criminology program at the Native Education College in Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver, BC).

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