SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN
Genocide, Indigenous Nations
and the Canadian State

TAMARA STARBLANKET

Preface by
WARD CHURCHILL
ISBN 978-0-9860769-6-1
$29.95  2015









EBOOK:
ISBN 978-0-9860769-7-8
$21.00
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SYNOPSIS

Originally approved as a master of laws thesis by a respected Canadian university, this
book tackles one of the most compelling issues of our time—the crime of genocide—
and whether in fact it can be said to have occurred in relation to the many Original
Nations on Great Turtle Island now claimed by a state called Canada.  It has been hailed
as groundbreaking by many Indigenous and other scholars engaged with this issue,
impacting not just Canada but states worldwide where entrapped Indigenous nations
face absorption by a dominating colonial state.

Starblanket unpacks Canada’s role in the removal of cultural genocide from the
Genocide Convention, though the disappearance of an Original Nation by forced
assimilation was regarded by many states as equally genocidal as destruction by
slaughter.  Did Canada seek to tailor the definition of genocide to escape its own crimes
which were then even ongoing? The crime of genocide, to be held as such under
current international law, must address the complicated issue of mens rea (not just the
commission of a crime, but the specific intent to do so). This book permits readers to
make a judgment on whether or not this was the case.

Starblanket examines how genocide was operationalized in Canada, focused primarily
on breaking the intergenerational transmission of culture from parents to children.
Seeking to absorb the new generations into a different cultural identity—English-
speaking, Christian, Anglo-Saxon, termed Canadian—Canada seized children from their
parents, and oversaw and enforced the stripping of their cultural beliefs, languages and
traditions, replacing them by those still in process of being established by the
emerging  Canadian state.

She outlines the array and extent of the destruction which inevitably took place as part
of the effort to bring about such a wrenching change—forcible indoctrination by means
of massive and widespread death by disease and dilapidated living conditions, torture,
forced starvation, labor, and sexual predation—collateral damage to Canada’s effort to
absorb diverse original nations into one larger, alien and dominating body politic.  The
cumulative effects of genocide continue to be exhibited by the survivors and their
descendants who suffer from the trauma and dysfunction, primarily in healthy proper
parenting, which results in ongoing forcible removals via the child welfare systems to
this day.   
TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

DEDICATION

LIST OF FIGURES

PREFACE:  WARD CHURCHILL

CHAPTER ONE – THE GENOCIDE CONVENTION
AND THE CANADIAN CRIMINAL CODE

INTRODUCTION
RAPHAEL LEMKIN
Axis Rule in Occupied Europe
CONVENTION ON THE PREVENTION AND
PUNISHMENT OF THE CRIME OF GENOCIDE
    Methodology
    Genocide in Public International Law
    Drafting of the Genocide Convention  
    Draft Convention on the Crime of Genocide  
    Ad Hoc and Sixth Committee Debates
    Forced Transfer of Children  
    Made in Canada Approach to Genocide  
INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE
GENOCIDE CONVENTION
    Reservations
    Advisory Opinion – 1951  
ARTICLE 18 – VIENNA CONVENTION
AND THE LAW OF TREATIES  
BASIC ELEMENTS OF GENOCIDE  
    Caveat
    Elements of the Crime
    Actus Reus  
    Causing Serious Bodily and Mental Harm  
    Forcibly Transferring Children
    Mens Rea
    Knowledge with Intent  
    Specific Intent
RETROACTIVITY
COLONIAL CLAUSE  

CHAPTER TWO – THE COLONIAL FRAMEWORK
AND THE INDIAN PROBLEM  

COLONIAL FRAMEWORK OF DESTRUCTION  
    Civilizing Discourse
CONGITIVE CONDITONING: LANGUAGE
AS A TOOL OF COLONIALISM
    Metaphors and Models
    Definitions
COLONIALISM AND GENOCIDE  
    Colonialism as Domination and Dehumanization  
    Indoctrination as Dehumanization
THEORIES OF RACIAL SUPERIORITY  
    Civilization Process
FORICBLE TRANSFERRING AFFECTS NATIONS  
COLONIAL LEGAL FRAMEWORK
MODEL OF DOMINATION AND DEHUMANIZATION  
    Demonization, Isolation and Destruction

CHAPTER THREE – THE FORCIBLE TRANSFERRING
OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ CHILDREN

INTRODUCTION
    Methodology  
CLARIFYING THE RHETORIC FROM THE REALITY  
APPLICATION OF THE GENOCIDE CONVENTION  
    Rule of Law  
    Forcible Transferring Causes the Collective Serious Bodily Harm  
    Facts  
           Forcible Transferring and Resistance  
           Destruction of the National Pattern of the Oppressed  
           Imposition of the National Pattern of the Oppressor  
                   Death by Disease and Dilapidated Living Conditions  
                   Torture  
                   Forced Starvation  
                   Forced Labour  
                   Sexual Predation  
LONG TERM IMPACTS  
    Collective Trauma and Dysfunction  
    Child Welfare System  
    Traumatic Parenting Patterns  
APPLICATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW  
    Customary International law and Retroactivity  
    Application  
    Forcible Transferring  
    Serious Bodily and Mental Harm  
    Specific Intent  
    Parenting Patterns as a Long Term Consequence  

CHAPTER FOUR – SOLUTIONS AND BROADER
LESSONS FOR THE FUTURE  

BROADER LESSONS FOR THE FUTURE  
SELF-DETERMINATION IS THE ROAD HOME  

BIBLIOGRAPHY

AFTERWORD:
Tamara Starblanket is Spider Woman, a Nehiyaw from
Ahtahkakoop First Nation in Treaty Six Territory.  Tamara
holds an LLM from the University of Saskatchewan, and an
LLB from the University of British Columbia. She teaches
and coordinates the Aboriginal Justice Studies Program at
the Native Education College. She was recently elected  
Co-Chair of the North American Indigenous Peoples’
Caucus (NAIPC). She is a former Director of Policing and
Research and Development at the Federation of
Saskatchewan Indian Nations.
COMMENTARY


"Settler-colonialism reveals the brutal face of imperialism in some of its most vicious forms.  This carefully
researched and penetrating study focuses on one of its ugliest manifestations, the forcible transferring of
indigenous children, and makes a strong case for Canadian complicity in a form of 'cultural genocide' –
with implications that reach to the Anglosphere generally, and to some of the worst crimes of the 'civilized
world' in the modern era."  
- Noam Chomsky

"Tamara Starblanket's work is confident, clear and succinct; her work is ground-breaking and provides us
with new ways of looking at how the states treatment of First Nations Peoples has gone unrecognised for
its genocidal affect. This work provides an excellent critique on the exclusion of cultural genocide from
how genocide is defined in international law."
Professor Irene Watson, Research Professor of Law, University of South Australia

"Tamara Starblanket's book provides a much needed examination and critique of the 'residential school'
system that forcibly transferred Indigenous children from their families, communities, and nations into
institutions run by the colonizer state—in this case, Canada. Despite the fact that the United Nations
1948 Convention on Genocide explicitly includes 'forcibly transferring children of the group to another
group' in its definition of 'genocide,' there are those who deny that the colonial 'civilizing' project
amounted to genocide. Starblanket demonstrates that the residential schools in fact aimed at destroying
the most intimate level of Indigenous life—the child-parent relation—employing brutal beatings, solitary
confinement and other horrible punishments, often resulting in children's deaths. The goal of the schools
was to prevent Indigenous societies from perpetuating themselves. Though officially repudiated, the
residential schools produced a continuing social and institutional legacy. Starblanket's work brings this
history and its legacy effects to our awareness and shows that 'the road home' requires an emphasis on
Indigenous self-determination."
Peter Dericco, Professor of Law, University of Massachusetts

“Tamara Starblanket has skillfully taken on one of the most difficult and contentious issues, genocide.
With intellectual courage and determination, she has approached the issue from the perspective of a
Cree woman, scholar, and attorney who has first-hand knowledge of the deadly and destructive
intergenerational impacts of Canada’s domination and dehumanization of Original Nations and Peoples.”

Steven T. Newcomb (Shawnee, Lenape), author,
Pagans in the Promised Land Decoding the
Christian Doctrine of Discovery

"To her immense credit, Starblanket refuses to give an inch to the sophistries through which
eurocanadian and euroamerican academics have long and increasingly sought to constrain the meaning
of the word "genocide" in ways intended to absolve their societies not only of having perpetrated it
against First Nations peoples in the past, but of continuing to do so in the present. Instead, relying upon
the definition advanced by Raphael Lemkin when he coined the term in 1944, as well as that delineated
in the Genocide Convention four years later, she insists that the crimes at issue be understood as what
they were and are, not as something less."
from the Preface by Ward Churchill, author, A Little Matter of Genocide
ESTABLISHING THE TRUE DIMENSIONS OF GENOCIDE
Artwork titled "Grandmother Spider"
appears courtesy of Christi Belcourt.
http://www.christibelcourt.com"
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