Monday, September 22, 2014
Text Size

Many readers reject genocide term

Winnipeg Free Press

An article on whether the term "genocide" applies to Canada's indigenous people resulted in a lot of online comments from readers.

I think there is no question historical injustices were perpetrated against some aboriginal Canadians. There is also no question this did not equate to genocide unless you alter the definition to make it so. Stating the truth does not deny anyone their history.

-- 23652962

But was it genocidal? A resounding no! Shoplifting and first-degree murder are both categorized as a criminal act, but there is a magnitude of difference between the two, just like in this case.

-- 23734452

It is abhorrent to compare crimes against humanity and genocides to belittle and excuse other crimes against humanity and genocides. There is no excuse for human suffering. Acceptable levels of human suffering is the root failure that sees us all in the current state of local and world affairs.

-- Michael Kannon

Like murder, genocide is a word that describes a specific base act. Various degrees of murder have been defined based on the circumstances or intent surrounding the act. We have first-degree murder, second-degree murder, manslaughter and criminal negligence causing death, each carrying different penalties. None of these degrees redefine the word murder, they just put it in perspective. Perhaps we need the same thing with genocide. I don't think everyone will ever agree the same word should describe both the banning of a people's religion and loading people into gas chambers. One is the result of theological differences; the other is elimination of a species. The end result is also different. Nobody can honestly say losing your culture and losing your life is the same thing.

-- Slim G

When I read the comments here I have to wonder why so many people are so adamant this was not a genocide, when by the United Nations' definition it is very clear it was. The forcibly transferring children part is especially clear. There is, of course, the usual comments such as "Get over it" and "It was in the past." There are a whole lot of awful things done all over the world in the past. It is important we all know and learn from the past. And how dare we tell somebody to get over it when they have not been afforded the opportunity to heal. Acknowledging is part of the healing. I did not personally do anything to the First Nations people, and I would assume the people commenting here did not as well, but I have no problem as a descendent of an immigrant acknowledging the wrongs done to so many of our First Nations people.

Nobody is asking you to take any blame, but please do not deny these people their history.

-- KK26

This is an interesting piece, but I find it odd the acceptance of a watered-down definition of genocide is construed as "progressive" and as "advanced." It is even suggested "progress" would mean watering down the concept of genocide just enough to include Canada's treatment of aboriginal peoples. I know the academics prefer "broadening" to "watering down" to describe what they are doing. In my view, there is good reason to adhere to the "narrower" UN definition.

-- Spence Furby

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

Education & Training

Blast from the past: FP archive

When is Consultation, Consultation?

Ovide Mercredi

National Chief – AFN

During a Treaty Roundtable meeting of the Alberta Chiefs, I took note of a federal government document outlining their strategy to define and ultimately impose their own form of self-government. Read more...

Letting go of residential schools

by Gilbert Oskaboose, Nov 1993 First Perspective

There is a lot of "unfinished business" in Indian Country. Garbage that we as a people have never really dealt with. Chief among them is the whole issue of those infamous residential schools and their impact on people. Read more...


obidiah picture

ANALYSIS - Bill Gallagher

gallagher picture

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit


Regional Media Officer– Temp (Until Nov 2015) –F/T Position

Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition / NDP Research Office

Location:131 Queen Street, Suite 10-02, Ottawa, ON


Communicate regularly with regional media outlets (community newspapers, radio stations, student media, ethnic media, etc.) to propose ideas for interviews and opinion content Read more...

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Aboriginal Workforce Report

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce released a report that highlights initiatives to improve the workforce participation of Aboriginal peoples. 

Opportunity Found: Improving the Participation of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada’s Workforce (December 2013)  

click image to download report

Tue Sep 23 @ 3:00PM - 04:15PM
FNHMA National Conference 2014
Sun Oct 05 @ 9:00AM - 05:00PM
INIHKD & Manitoba NEAHR Conference 2014


September 2014
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4

Current Video

RIP Percy Tuesday


Thanks to Althea Guiboche for allowing The First Perspective to share her video taken at the Manitowapow book launch at McNally Robinson. 

Percey sings Freddy Fender's "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and people join in to harmonize. 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): The Washington Redskins