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Friday, February 1, 2013

Ottawa ordered to find and release millions of Indian residential school records

By GLORIA GALLOWAY, OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
The federal government must scour its archives for millions of documents related to the Indian residential schools that operated in Canada for more than century – institutions where physical and sexual abuse was rampant and from which many students never returned.
An Ontario Superior Court judge ruled on Wednesday (Jan. 30) that it is not good enough for Ottawa to provide the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) with records that can be found in the active files of departments.
Most of the relevant documents were long ago sent to Library and Archives Canada (LAC) for storage, and Mr. Justice Stephen Goudge said the government must now retrieve them so that the commission can fulfill its mandate of compiling a historical record of the residential-schools experience.
Canada’s obligation under a settlement agreement signed in 2006 with the school survivors, the government, the churches that ran the institutions, and others, is straightforward, Judge Goudge wrote.
“It is to provide all relevant documents to the TRC,” which was created as part of the settlement agreement, he wrote. “The obligation is in unqualified language unlimited by where the documents are located within the government of Canada.”
The department of Aboriginal Affairs has turned over a million records and promises hundreds of thousands more. But 23 other departments have refused to do likewise. It is estimated that millions of school-related documents in the archives could occupy 6.5 kilometres of shelf space, and finding them could cost as much $100-million.
 
The only thing I can add is America needs to do the same - and if it's up to me, we will have the records released in my lifetime for the residential schools here and the genocidal Indian Adoption Projects...Trace

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Why tribes do not recommend the DNA swab

Rebecca Tallbear entitled: “DNA, Blood, and Racializing the Tribe”, bearing out what I only inferred:

Detailed discussion of the Bering Strait theory and other scientific theories about the population of the modern-day Americas is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it should be noted that Indian people have expressed suspicion that DNA analysis is a tool that scientists will use to support theories about the origins of tribal people that contradict tribal oral histories and origin stories. Perhaps more important,the alternative origin stories of scientists are seen as intending to weaken tribal land and other legal claims (and even diminish a history of colonialism?) that are supported in U.S. federal and tribal law. As genetic evidence has already been used to resolve land conflicts in Asian and Eastern European countries, this is not an unfounded fear.

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