Canada and its Churches must be prosecuted and disestablished for their proven Crimes against Humanity
(A Special Op Ed piece submitted to major world media)
By Rev. Kevin D. Annett, M.A., M.Div.
Special Adviser to the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State
Recently, the Canadian government officially acknowledged that thousands of Indian children died under its care in the infamous, church-run Indian residential school system. (New York Times, June 3, 2015) The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Beverley MacLachlan, has stated publicly that genocide did in fact take place in these schools. And yet despite this acknowledgement, and the proven intent by Canadian church and state to wipe out non-Christian Indians under the cover of parochial schooling, the perpetrators will apparently face no consequence for their crime.
In what is a clear and gross obstruction of justice, Canada and its churches have since 2008 indemnified themselves from any liability for the deaths of these children, silenced eyewitnesses and hidden or destroyed key evidence, and actively impeded a genuine investigation of the Indian residential schools atrocities. As one observer of the government’s stage-managed “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” (TRC) noted last year,
“Canada is spending $68 million to create an appearance of disclosure while censoring from the TRC record any evidence that may implicate itself and the churches in the death of children. Lacking even the power to subpoena or prosecute those responsible for what is obvious genocide, the TRC can best be described as a failed attempt at cosmetics.”
Realistically, one can expect such manipulation and cover-up by any regime caught in its own malfeasance. Canada is hardly unique in that respect. Nevertheless, under the United Nations’ Genocide Convention, which Canada ratified in 1952 and to which it owes compliance, all signatories to the Convention must actively “prosecute and punish” Genocide once it has been proven. Not only has Canada not fulfilled this obligation under international law, but it has actively subverted this moral and legal requirement, and impeded justice.
For a growing number of Canadians, it is difficult to justify our allegiance to a government that is operating as a rogue body under the Law of Nations. That law – especially the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court – absolves citizens from allegiance to their own government when the latter is perpetrating or concealing war crimes or Crimes against Humanity, as Canada is clearly doing. This fact should give solace and encouragement to the nearly sixty percent of Canadians who want an end to their ties with the Crown of England – one of the main actors of the Canadian Genocide.
More broadly, the authority of “Canada” and its crown courts as a whole is in question, operating as they are as unaccountable bodies that flout the rule of law. Time and again, these courts have denied and circumvented litigation brought by aboriginal people that attempted to charge Canada and the Crown with genocide. As one frustrated native litigant said to me in 1998,
“Was Auschwitz just about rapes and beatings? Then how come the mass murder of our people is?”
It is a fact that Canada, the British Crown, the Vatican and the Roman Catholic, Anglican and United Church of Canada were responsible for sustaining an annual death rate in the Indian residential schools of nearly fifty percent for over a half century: a fact that makes highly suspect the “official” claim of only 4,000 deaths in these schools.The routine and deliberate spreading of tuberculosis among healthy children, the systematic rape, torture and killing of non-Christian Indians, the standard practice of sexually sterilizing children at puberty in special Indian hospitals, and the continued destruction of native families and their lands and resources: all of these proven crimes point to an enormous and very intentional Genocide.
Indians in Canada today continue to die at the same levels as they did during the residential schools era. The routine trafficking of native children, murder of Indians by police, and desecration of ancestral lands by resource-hungry corporations is as much a feature of Canada as are the stereotypical red coated Mounties.
No-one is obligated to fund or obey the laws of a criminal regime like Canada. The Nuremberg precedents establish that such a regime has lost its right to lawfully govern: a fact that is fueling a growing movement to create a constitutional Republic in Canada that is free of the murderous legacy of Church and Crown.
Sir Edward Coke, a champion of the Common Law against the arbitrary rule of the British monarchy, declared to King Charles in 1628,
“Be you ever so high, you are not above the law”.
This unalienable truth is more than a warning to tyrants and criminals in high office: it can and must be an operating principle when dealing with our home grown war crimes. The only question now is what agency will compel such justice, and disestablish criminal institutions like those in Canada?
The answer, of course, is We the People: the source of all government, justice, and law.
July 24, 2015
*Kevin D. Annett is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee who since 1995 has led the campaign to expose and prosecute the Genocide of aboriginal children in Canada. He is an award-winning author, film maker and human rights consultant, and is a co-founder of the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (www.itccs.org) .