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Oct-10-2012 12:26printcommentsVideo

Warning: This Article Contains Graphic Human Rights Abuse in Canada

Canada has a long history of violence and human rights abuse. (This is's 25,000th article)

Canada has a long history of violence and human rights abuse.
Unearthing mass aboriginal graves at the Mohawk Institute, Canada Credit: ITCCS.ORG

(TEHRAN) - In June 2008, Canada officially apologized for forcing 150,000 aboriginal children into ghastly residential schools where they were abused sexually, psychologically and physically.

Residential schools were set up with the assumption that aboriginal culture failed to adapt to the dominant modern society. They thought native children could be successful if they assimilated into the Canadian society by adopting Christianity and speaking either English or French. Resident students were shunned from speaking their mother tongue and if they had, they would have gone through the worst conceivable form of punishment. Sexual and mental abuse was the common experience among the indigenous students who were forced to attend the so-called religious schools by the government. For most of the year, they were away from their parents. The concept of assimilation was a big lie and the children eventually left schools with a broken spirit and an amputated soul.

There are reports and tales of horrendous abuse at the hands of residential school staff: physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological. The education they received at schools was infernally inferior: their training was basically focused on manual labor in agriculture, and light industry. Instances and forms of abuse at such schools were legion: physical abuse was tantamount to corporeal punishment; sexual abuse was a common practice and psychological abuse was what the staff members were good at. Students were beaten, strapped, and shackled to their beds. Their tongues were pierced with needles as a punishment for speaking their native language.

This was how the Indian in the aborigines was executed by the government and how the residential schools had turned into a safe haven for the colonizing pedophiles. Arthur Plint, a dorm supervisor, who was accused of 18 counts of sexual assaults (children aged 6 to sixteen), was an egregious instance of this ethical decadence.

Willy Blackwater is a victim of Plint’s inhumanity. He was the first aboriginal person in Canada to win a medical claim for post-traumatic stress disorder. A survivor of the Alberni Indian Residential School, Blackwater speaks of his tormentor at school:

"Arthur Henry Plint was the dorm supervisor for the younger boys, boys my age. My first week there, he woke me up in the middle of the night. He told me to come into his office because there was an emergency phone call from my father... He had a door from the office right into his bedroom. He took me there and dropped his robe and faced me, naked... I started to get sick and tried to puke. He laughed and told me that if I puked on his bed, I'd get hurt. . . . After that, Plint raped me. . .about once a month for the next three years. I finally got up my nerve to tell Mr. Butler what Plint was doing to me... Butler gave me a severe strapping and called me a dirty, lying Indian.

Known as a sexual terrorist, Plint continued to torment native children for twenty years. This torment was “condoned by the authorities, by our society. We talk about equality; we talk about the rights of society. These young men had no rights; their childhood was stolen from them.”

Plint is only a microcosm of state-sponsored cultural abuse in Canada.

Learn more about the Canadian Genocide with writer Kevin Annett

As the church was seen to be partly responsible for the sexual maltreatment of the school children, Pope Benedict XVI expressed his "sorrow" on April 29, 2009 to a delegation from Canada's Assembly of First Nations for the abuse and "deplorable" treatment that aboriginal students had received at Church-run residential schools. The United Church of Canada formally apologized to Canada's First Nations people in 1986.

"To those individuals who were physically, sexually, and mentally abused as students of the Indian Residential Schools in which the United Church of Canada was involved, I offer you our most sincere apology," the statement by the church's General Council Executive said.

By way of soothing internal concerns, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper also said, "The government of Canada sincerely apologizes and asks the forgiveness of the aboriginal peoples of this country for failing them so profoundly. We are sorry."

These emotional moments of Mr. Harper’s were soon forgotten and the violation of the rights of the aborigines continued systematically.

The Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) says Canada is ignoring the basic human rights of the poorest and most vulnerable Canadian women. FAFIA spokesperson Sharon McIvor says, “Canada is the home of serious violations of the human rights of Aboriginal women and girls.”

Phenomenally, aboriginal women and young girls have long started to vanish. So far, more than 600 of them are missing. Many of them have been reportedly raped, mutilated and murdered. Unfortunately, the Canadian law enforcement forces have not taken any practical steps to discover the whereabouts of these female victims or find the culprits.

Canada has a long history of violence and human rights abuse.

The UN’s top human rights official, Navi Pillay, has included Canada in a list of the world’s worst on human rights, and criticized Quebec’s Bill 78 for restricting freedom of assembly.

Amnesty International's secretary general Salil Shetty has scathingly criticized the Canadian government for its serious human rights violations.

"There is a real shrinking of democratic spaces in this country... Many organizations have lost their funding for raising inconvenient questions," AFP quoted Shetty as saying.

Canada is a land of broken promises; a country where the first dwellers are so agonizingly deprived of their basic rights; a country where the dignity of man is brazenly cast to dust.

A country, which so barefacedly pontificates about human rights violations elsewhere, is for its part dismally landed in a morass of abysmal hypocrisy.


Dr. Ismail Salami is an Iranian writer, Middle East expert, Iranologist and lexicographer. He writes extensively on the US and Middle East issues and his articles have been translated into a number of languages.

Dr. Salami examines the historical developments that impact national relations today, and the way western people view Iran. has carried stories from Iranian writers for years and the critical politics have been and remain under our microscope of truth and fair play. This is essential in a world teetering on the brink of a third world war, over continual unfounded allegations of Iran's development of enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb.

The stark irony of the story is that Iran's primary accuser, Israel, is in possession of hundreds of nuclear weapons, the very type they accuse Iran of "plotting" to develop. In truth, Iran has almost no history of aggression toward the United States.

Misinformation shapes opinion, and a large percentage of Americans have never been provided accurate information about the history of Iran and the western powers and their eternal quests for cheap oil. They don't comprehend the fact that Iran was ruled by the west, by proxy, throughout the years of the Shah, and that this only ended with the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

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Chris October 21, 2012 12:48 pm (Pacific time)

Hi David and Kathy, My husband and I are Canadian and arervid in the Dordogne region three years ago. I'd be happy to exchange a few emails comparing things. It has been interesting to say the least. Number One mistake we made was not getting a Saskatchewan or Quebec drivers license before leaving Canada. You can just swap either one of those for a French license. Any other province and you have to do the full French driving exam in French within one year. They say there is an abbreviated test of just 20 road signs you need to know, but somehow no one could tell us when it would be scheduled in the Dordogne. One could not just show up and complete it but go on a scheduled date, which only happened when enough people wanted to do it. Very chicken and egg. I love it here though and won't return to Canada if I can help it. Pam

Anonymous October 10, 2012 11:43 pm (Pacific time)

With all do respect, I like to see a paper on the human rights violations in your Country. People getting crucified for being gay, murdered and executed for whatever reason. Woman harassed because if their clothing. Anti Government demonstrators beaten and killed. It is easy to prosecute other Countries. Maybe you are afraid of reporting on your Country or maybe you are just ignorant of your Governments behavior.

Editor: Oh come on, you know Iran id demonized consistently by US media and this article simply shows the other side of the story.  All the things you vent about, we have heard all of that, however I suspect most readers are a little in the dark over Canada's real past.  

William Annett October 10, 2012 1:03 pm (Pacific time)

Great stuff, Dr. Salami. It's refreshing to see other people, other nations, coming to recognize the Canadian Holocaust. While he has never sought anything but truth and justice - while sacrificing his life, career, family and physical safety - it continues to amaze me how resolutely both his own countrymen and international observers avoid mentioning my son Reverend Kevin Annett, who started the whole thing by blowing the whistle on the Canadian government, the United Church that trashed his life, the RCMP and corrupt tribal councils, not to mention 30 million of his countrymen.

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