At least he's not a history teacher: Harper on colonialism
By Harsha Walia - Rabble News
September 29, 2009
"We also have no history of colonialism..." - Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
On the heels of a massive exercise of U.S. police repression against G20 protestors, including use of a wartime sonic acoustic weapon also being utilized in Iraq, Stephen Harper made the above declaration during a press conference in Pittsburgh where it was announced that Canada would be hosting the next G20 meeting in 2010. (See the text of the remarks here.)
Unsurprisingly, no world leaders walked out as he said this, nor was he subsequently denounced, for Indigenous Holocaust denial.
Or perhaps Harper and I are not on the same page -- is colonialism not defined as the practice and processes of domination, control, and forced subjugation of one people to another? As most bluntly stated by Duncan Campbell Scott, Head of the Department of Indian Affairs in the 1920's: "Our objective is to continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed into the body politic and there is no Indian question."
I expect Harper has read the federal government's own report on the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, which explicitly lays out Canada's imposition of a colonial relationship (indeed, that is the heading of one of the chapters) on Indigenous people. Measures employed include the Indian Act, residential schools, forcible relocation including to reservations, the imposed Band Council system, institution of a pass system (which was subsequently borrowed by apartheid South Africa), germ warfare, outlawing of ceremonies such as the potlatch and traditional activities such as fishing, failed treaty processes, and other forced assimilation polices including the Act for the Gradual Assimilation of Indian Peoples.