Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

June 2, 2021

Indian boarding schools: Auschwitz in Canada and US


Indian boarding schools, Auschwitz in Canada and US

"This is a holocaust beyond comprehension," Russell Means said. "They choked us to death."

By Brenda Norrell
red News
Feb. 19, 2009

Russell Means and Kevin Annett spoke on the systematic genocide of Indian people in the United States and Canada, pointing out the murder of children in boarding schools and the generations of trauma and early death resulting from the long-standing abuse which has been hidden in history.

Annett and Means spoke on Red Town Radio, hosted by Brenda Golden, Muscogee (Creek) from Oklahoma, on Sunday, Feb. 15. Means, revealing the thread of colonization and genocide, said Americans are proving Einstein's definition of insanity. Einstein said insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Means described how Indian people have been co-opted to believe the lies of the US and Canadian governments through the system of colonization.

"What these boarding schools did was to create this insanity. They have convinced the prisoners of these two governments, of Canada and the United States, to accept things the way they are and hope things will change."

“Reconciliation is the oppressor’s policy,” Means said. At the root of the cause, he said, is the system of patriarchy, which is the fear-based society of the white man. “The first thing feared by white men is the woman beside them,” Means said. Patriarchs fear and terrorize women, he said. Quoting his ancestor, Luther Standing Bear, Means pointed out that the white man attempts to destroy what he can not control.

Standing Bear wrote about 1900, "when a man fears the forest, he will want to control the forest, and what he can’t control, he will want to destroy."

Control was the platform of the death camps known as boarding schools.

Means quoted Capt. Richard H. Pratt founder of Carlisle Indian School, whose motto became the codewords of genocide. Pratt said, “Kill the Indian, and save the man.”
“Save the man for what?” Means asked. “To rob a person of their breath, their breath of life? That is what boarding schools are all about.”

Means said the genocide of “killing the Indian” continues today, as evidenced by the four countries which refused to vote to adopt the non-binding UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
“What they said is: We do not exist. Kill the Indian. That is what they said by their vote.”

Still, Means said people are not rising up in indignation. “They killed the Indian, so we don’t have a backbone anymore. They took the breath out of our spirit.”
Means said there was not outrage over the genocidal boarding schools in the United States until the American Indian Movement began protests. Sexual abuse, incest, physical abuse and abandonment issues are now epidemic for Indian people because of the boarding schools.

During the radio show, Means thanked Annett for being an ally to Indian people in Canada and leading this movement for truth. Means said there has been no equal ally in the United States to expose the truth of Indian boarding schools. But the proof is pervasive: American Indians have the shortest life expectancy.

Means said government apologies for the abuse are another insult.

“Those apologies are insulting. To offer us money is to heap insult upon insult. It is unconscionable.”

Means said although the United States acknowledges that the US is based on the laws within the Iroquois Confederacy, the US did not acquire all of the laws. The US did not include the foundation of the clan mother and the matriarchal society.
“This is the only way to ensure individual liberty,” he said.

Meanwhile, today the media ignores the sexual abuse and physical abuse in Indian boarding schools. “American people refuse to believe they are the worst.”
Means said the American Indian news media is ignoring the truth.
“Our own media is not paying attention, not exposing anything.”

Means said, "It is a vicious cycle of oppression." Means said few Americans realize that the majority of slaves in the western hemisphere were American Indians until 1715. The reason blacks were brought here was because Indian people were so susceptible to the white man's diseases, he said.

During this weekend’s protest in Vancouver, Annett said the response was a smug attitude from whites attending the church and the minister.

“These people acted like they have no heart.”

Annett said it is a battle to convince people of the truth. He said the so-called truth and reconciliation commissions are more about relieving the guilt of white society than real healing for Indian people. He said non-Indians are living on stolen land and multi-national corporations know what the truth will mean for their profits.

Annett, a minister exposing the crimes of the churches and government of Canada, said Indian residential schools in Canada were more murderous than Auschwitz.

Annett said the death rate at Auschwitz was 15 to 30 percent. One third of the people were killed. In Canada, the death rate of Indian children in residential schools was at least twice that of Auschwitz.

“The residential schools were more intentionally murderous.”

Means said it is also possible to gain the assistance of an international rapporteur from the United Nations.

Means pointed out that there were 12 to 14 million people in 1492 in what is now the contiguous United States. In 1900, only 250,000 remained. In 300 years, 99.6 percent of Indian people had been annihilated. “That is a holocaust beyond comprehension.”
There has been less than one percent population growth in the last 100 years.

The US and Canadian governments and Christian boarding schools are further proof of this genocide. Means spoke of his own parents' abuse in boarding schools, both of the sexual abuse and the beatings for speaking their language.

“My father was physically abused for speaking our language, to the point where he could not speak it anymore.” Later, when his father tried to speak it, he could not speak words and made a moaning sound when he tried to speak Lakota.

Means said in boarding schools, the younger boys always wanted to be the older boys, because the older boys punished the younger boys. That became their reason for growing up, to punish the younger boys, he said.

"We've been trained like Pavlov's dogs,” Means said. Now, education is still focused on “killing the Indian and saving the child.”

Means said Obama’s inauguration address points to assimilation into the melting pot. He said President Obama's inauguration address was the most important speech he will make and the words were chosen carefully.

Obama said, "The lines of tribes will be dissolved." Means said those words were deliberate and are blatant and inexcusable.

“What he meant by that is we are going to be dissolved.”

Means said, "Almost all our languages are gone. Once the language is gone, we're gone." Means quoted a black woman about what the white man did to the black people: “He took the taste out of our mouths.”

As for Indians, Means said, "They choked us to death."

Means said when the last speakers of the Indian languages are gone, the people will be gone. He said one only needs to take a look at both US coasts, where Indian people had the most contact with Europeans. There, he said, Indian people have lost everything.

Describing the gifts that Native people possess, Means said the language is tied to the natural world and Indian people understand the interpretations of natural law. It is not possible to translate Native languages into English, he said. “We have no word for ‘war’ or ‘warriors.’”

Annett, returning from a protest at a church in Vancouver, BC, said it is time for all the missing children to have a proper burial. This has been the message of the protest posters at churches in Canada: "All the children need a proper burial."

Annett said an Indigenous war crimes tribunal is necessary for justice in Canada. The survivors of these death camps, residential schools, are being subjected to a "complete whitewash" by the government of Canada. Already, Indigenous Peoples in Guatemala have agreed to serve on the Indigenous war crimes tribunal. Annett said some of the perpetrators are still alive and must be brought to justice.

Even though the churches were responsible for the murder and deaths of more than 50,000 Indian children in Canada, if the victims accept money from the government, the perpetrators will not be held responsible.

Victims become perpetrators.

Means said victims often become perpetrators and today's Christians are proving this to be true. "Their forbearers were fed to the lions and they don't mind feeding us to the lions."

“It is really sick, it is the sickest thing.” Means said if patriarchy continues, this sickness will continue. The proof is in Iraq, Gaza and Afghanistan. "Everywhere they go they massacre,” Means said Christians, through militarism and colonialism, continue killing.

In colonialism, as with the Nazi collaborators, Means said, "You get the victims to become the perpetrators." Now victims of boarding school abuse are planning to continue the death camps of boarding schools.

Means said on Pine Ridge there is an epidemic of sexual abuse, physical and domestic abuse of women. Here, in this epidemic of violence and abuse, the BIA plans to build a BIA dormitory in the spring.

“The Indian people are going for it.”

Indian women were sterilized.

One of the facts hidden from history was the forced sterilization of Indian women. Means said it is documented that between 1972 and 1976, the United States forcibly sterilized 42 percent of Indian women. In Puerto Rico, the US forcibly sterilized 35 percent of Puerto Rican women.

There was also horrendous physical abuse. In Chilocco Indian School in Oklahoma, Means described one teenager with a disabled arm. In Chilocco, children were handcuffed over pipes in the basement and left to hang there. Chilocco and Intermountain Indian School in Utah were among the worst boarding schools and AIM led protests to close those in the 1970s.

“There’s still a killing field at Haskell,” Means said. Means said at Haskell boarding school, now Haskell Indian Nations University, there is a mass grave of Indian children beneath a building. A building was built over the mass grave to hide the evidence and the college denied the existence of the grave, he said.

In southeastern BC, Annett said a golf course was built over the site of a mass grave of Indian children. The government of Canada convinced the band council to go along with this.

Annett said the churches and Canada continue to act with impunity, while there are more than 50,000 missing Indian children.

"The churches could do anything even when children disappeared, they did not report it.” In the United States and Canada, Indian children were turned into slaves in boarding school. It is a miracle, Annett said, that any children survived these death camps. In Canada, residential schools were operated by the churches.

Annett said one of the men at a church protest spoke of how he survived on garbage detail. “He was really glad when he was on the garbage detail, he would be cramming this garbage, of the white staff members, into his mouth.”

"Only the Irish have been colonized more than the American Indian," Means said.

Describing the T.R.E.A.T.Y Total Immersion School on Pine Ridge, S.D., Means said it is an immersion school, but not in the same manner as the US schools. Means said the US government’s idea of immersion is to become illiterate in two languages.

The T.R.E.A.T.Y School is taken from the Maori of New Zealand and throws out the European modality of education. At the Treaty School, most of the education takes place outdoors, even in winter in South Dakota, he said.
"Our Treaty School is going to be the saving grace of our nation. If just one clan survives, at least we have survived."

In closing, Means, chief facilitator for the Republic of Lakotah, described the Republic of Lakotah. He said it is non-threatening, non-militant and peace loving, while reestablishing representative government. Non-Indians can be taught to live in an Indian manner and the woman’s place in the natural order must be honored, he said.

Annett urged people to arise with courage and demand the truth, while holding the perpetrators accountable for their actions. From the mass graves, he said, children can be identified by DNA, especially by the teeth, and the cause of death can be determined. He said this can be done according to the traditions of Indian Nations.

With more exposure of the truth, the Canadian government and police are now trying to hide the evidence, digging up graves in the night. At the same time, Canadian government funded Indian agencies are being threatened with the loss of funding if they attempt to discover the truth about the missing children.

Accepting government money has not resulted in justice. "You can have money, but you have to promise never to sue,” Annett said. Now, hereditary chiefs and clan mothers say that traditional courts must carry out the justice.

"The survivors are dying at the rate of five to ten a day,” Annett said, pointing out the need to record the testimony. In April, Annett released a list of sites of mass graves of Indian children at residential schools. But the media followed this with a blackout in the news.

In boarding schools and residential schools, parents were terrorized about passing down the language to future generations. Annett said now, when young Indians realize why they were not taught their language, because of this systematic genocide, they are empowered to learn their language.

During one of the protests at a church in Vancouver, a homeless man, “Bingo,” manifested this empowerment. There, Bingo lectured the police about protecting the churches. Meanwhile, the protests continue, calling for proper burials for the missing children, and to bring them home. Speaking of the protests, inside and outside of churches in Canada, Annett said, “We do this respectfully. We try to reach the minds and hearts of the people.”

Pointing out that the death rate was twice that of Auschwitz, Annett said one of the main causes of death was deliberate germ warfare. Healthy children were placed with children with tuberculosis. There was no health care when they became sick.

But the Indian genocide was not limited to the time of childhood. Under the United Nations Convention on Genocide, genocide is defined as anything which will kill off a people in the long run. Annett points out when Indian peoples traditional food systems and lifeways were destroyed, the result was that they died young, often in their forties, from diabetes, suicide and self destruction.

Today, Annett said the death rate of Indian people in Canada is 20 times the national average. Today in Canada, under the cover of darkness, the graves of Indian children are being dug up and the evidence destroyed. Today in Canada, fraudulent truth and reconciliation commissions of these death camps continue to white wash the truth.

Listen to this interview on Red Town Radio:

More info at:

Lakatoh Republic

Hidden from History: the Canadian Holocaust
February 1, 2009: Media Advisory and Press Statement - February 1, 2009 Whistle Blowing Minister to Commence Continental Speaking Tour to "Disestablish Genocide"
January 24, 2009: Fourteen Years Later, I'm Still Here, and So Are We I was fired from my job as a United Church minister in Port Alberni fourteen years ago today...
January 18, 2009: AHA MEDIA event coverage: Take Back the Land: Enforce Chief Kiapilano’s Eviction Notice against the Genocidal Catholic Church: coverage of this protest including many photos.
January 10, 2009: Whistle Blowing Minister "raising the stakes" in Continental Speaking Tour this February and March Kevin Annett, the pastor turned activist who forced Canada to acknowledge its genocide of native people this year, is taking his truth campaign on the road on February 12. But now he’s “upping the ante” on the institutions responsible.
Read more:
Watch The Documentary Film:
Unrepentant: Kevin Annett and Canada's Genocide
This documentary reveals Canada's darkest secret - the deliberate extermination of indigenous (Native American) peoples and the theft of their land under the guise of religion. This never before told history as seen through the eyes of this former minister (Kevin Annett) who blew the whistle on his own church, after he learned of thousands of murders in its Indian Residential Schools.
Related: Kevin Annett Rips The Mask From Power Unrepentant: Kevin Annett and Canada's Genocide (Video)
What is The Truth Commission into Genocide in Canada?
The historical roots of 'Thanksgiving' Aboriginal children 'injected with leprosy'
The Mass Graves of Ireland
French Rothschild Branch Behind the Planned Genocide Of Armenians
The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics


luis said...

You speak great truth. No more horror stories about the Jews without the just and equal exposure of what was done to the People of the Sun.

If you want us to recognize the horrors done to your people then you must help us get the word out about what was done to the Indigenous peoples of this Continent.

The goal now is to never forget. Walk the path of courage and speak of the truth. Although, I am not native, I comment your courage.

And I live at the USA\Mexican border visit my site.

Unknown said...

Is this valid to be used in a school essay? please send it quickly...