Canada’s Dark Past: How The Indigenous People Were Abused
Source: Independent UK

By TNV Desk

Canada’s Dark Past: How The Indigenous People Were Abused
Source: Independent UK

After the recent discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves of the indigenous children at the site of a former residential school under care and administration of the Roman Catholic Church in British Columbia, Is Canada’s decision to give indigenous people the right to use their original name is seen as the atonement of the government for its colonial historical abuses. The Guardian explains the same in its recent report( )titled “Indigenous Canadians win right to use original names after forced assimilation”.

The report says, “Indigenous people in Canada who were forced to use European names on official documents can now apply to restore their original names, in a new policy unveiled as the country’s government seeks to atone for historical abuses.”

It further added, “For far too long, Canada’s colonial legacy has disrupted Indigenous peoples’ Indigenous naming practices and family connections from being recognized,” Marc Miller, minister of Indigenous services, said in a statement, adding that the new policy would allow residents to reclaim the dignity of their Indigenous names.”

Further explaining the grim colonial past of the country, the report says, “Beginning in the 1800s, more than 150,000 Indigenous children were taken from their homes and placed in the notorious schools, operated by religious institutions and the federal government as a means of forcible assimilation.”

It further says, “Children were forced to wear uniforms and learn English, boys had their braided hair cut and many were given Christian names.”

Explaining the persecution by whipping for defying, the reports write how, “In 2010, Peter Nakogee told Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission that he was whipped for using his traditional name.”

“I got the nun really mad that I was writing in Cree. And then I only knew my name was Minister,” he said. “From the first time I heard my name, my name was Minister. So I have whipped again because I didn’t know my name was Peter Nakogee.”

The report in The Guardian says, “The traditional names given to Indigenous children carry deep cultural meaning. Yet for many First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people, colonialism has robbed them of these sacred names, said Canada’s citizenship minister, Marco Mendicino.”

“At times, efforts to use traditional names have been met with everything from polite rejection to racism…the policy applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis background – not just residential school survivors, but also those who have been hesitant to use their traditional names in official documents.”

Describing the ordeal of indigenous who felt unconnected The Guardian report says, “In September, Kanien’kéha Deer, a CBC journalist, wrote about her decision to return to using her traditional name after using her English name “Jessica” in a professional capacity.”

“There’s always been hurdles in the process of having my name spelled with the correct diacritic marks on just about every piece of personal identification. For example, a colon has become an invalid character on Canadian passports, nor can it be used in email addresses or social media handles.”

“But, to continue not using my Kanien’kéha name felt like a huge weight on my shoulders. I love my name, and I am proud of it.”