This essay addresses the relationship linking Canada's Indian Residential School saga with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the United Nations' Genocide Convention. It sets the Canadian experience in a broader context, investigating the treatment of marginalized peoples in national and international environments dominated by the unwritten conventions of victors' justice. From the era of the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals, the full weight of international law falls disproportionately on the losing side of major conflicts. Those who commit crimes against humanity on the side of triumphant power are usually put behind shields of impunity, and this propensity sets the framework for the contained domestic handling of the international crime of genocide in Canada. This justiciable genocide took place historically through the forced removal of Aboriginal children from their biological families with clear intent to terminate First Nations as distinct peoples. The Indian Residential Schools were one part of a larger complex of enforced laws and policies including the effort to enfranchise schooled Indian adults as regular Canadian citizens bereft of Aboriginal and treaty rights.


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pp. 72-91
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