The People’s War Radio Show, Episode #66: Indigenous People of Canada the genocidal legacy of colonial education

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On May 27, 2021 a mass grave with the remains of 215 children was found at Kamloops Residential School in British Columbia Canada. On June 25th, Chief of the Cowess Nation reported that on June 2 they had embarked on a mission to search for unmarked graves, and found a mass grave of 751 remains in the southeast corner of the Saskatchewan province at the cemetery of the former Marieval Indian Residential School.

These discoveries have rocked Canada and soured this year’s commemoration of Canada Day, celebrated as Canada’s birthday, on July 1st.

The Indian Residential Schools was a network of boarding schools created by the colonial government of Canada for indigenous children and usually operated by Christian church organizations. Similar to the Carlisle Indian School in the United States, residential schools operated in Canada from 1883 to 1996.

In response to the discovery of these mass Residential School graves, a series of fires have been set at churches across Canada.

At the same time, we see a rash of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and a continued struggle of Native people in Canada against the foster care system and the prison system.

To discuss this with us today on The People’s War Radio Show, we have Darren Lathlin-Torpe and Xach Williams.

Darren Lathlin-Torpe is a member of the Cree Nation and lives in Calgary, Alberta. Darren has worked in the oil industry in Canada and the United States. Darren’s family has direct experience with the Indian Residential Schools and he and his family have spoken out against them. Darren is an advocate for the return of Indigenous people to their culture.

Dr. Xach Williams is originally from Seattle WA. Dr. Williams received his PhD in Ethnic Studies from University of California San Diego in 2019 and before that completed a BA in Comparative Ethnic Studies at Washington State University in 2011. Dr. Williams’s dissertation titled Didn’t It Rain? explores the ways that material conditions of anti-black racism, segregation, and exclusion affect the development of the Pacific Northwest from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries.

The People's War radio show is produced by WBPU 96.3 FM "Black Power 96" in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is hosted by Dr. Matsemela Odom and Muambi Tangu, bringing an African Internationalist perspective to the important issues of our world.

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