Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The following is a report from the Hamilton chapter of the Ontario platformist group Common Cause. The latest meeting of their discussion group featured the showing of Kevin Annett's documentary 'Unrepentant: Kevin Annett and Canada's Genocide'. This is the story of Canada's residential schools and the full horror that they were.
Report - Common Cause Hamilton's September Anarchist Discussion Group: Canada's Residential Schools:
Common Cause Hamilton's monthly anarchist discussion group continued this September 16 with a screening of Kevin Annett's documentary, "Unrepentant: Kevin Annett and Canada's Genocide." Connie, a member of Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared (FRD), one of the principal groups seeking justice for the victims of Canada's residential school system, introduced the film and also led the subsequent discussion. About a dozen people attended, several of whom took copies of the film to show it elsewhere.

The film itself is about Canada's residential school system. For over 100 years the Canadian government forced indigenous children to attend schools run by Canada's major churches. The schools were intended to strip indigenous children of their languages and cultures and turn them into Christian, white, workers. See "Residential School Apology: An Anarchist View" in Linchpin 5 for more info.

The film argues that the residential school system was in fact planned genocide. It cites evidence from the Canadian government's own files that over 50% of all children who attended the schools died, particularly from tuberculosis. It presents the findings of Peter Bryce, Canada's Indian Affairs chief medical officer in the early 1900s, who after investigating, concluded that there was a deliberate policy of keeping sick and healthy children together. According to the film, at least 50,000 children died during the 100 years that the schools operated.

The film presents painful first hand testimony from survivors that reveals crimes such as torture, medical experimentation, sexual abuse and murder. The film also documents the persecution of Kevin Annett by the United Church. According to the film, for his activism, the United Church kicked Annett out of the church, took away his family, blocked his doctoral candidacy at UBC and have prevented him from finding employment for the past 15 years.
For more information and to watch the movie online see:
For more information on upcoming Common Cause events contact
Common Cause Hamilton's Anarchist Discussion Group takes place on the third Tuesday of every month at 7pm at the Sky Dragon Centre ( located at 27 King William St. For more info contact

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