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Canadian school massacre: At least 6000 aboriginal children slain in “cultural genocide”

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

A “cultural genocide” in Canada is believed to have taken the lives of at least 6000 children studying in the residential school system during 1940s-1950s.

The revised death toll came to light after it was revealed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Beverley McLachlin, that Canada had attempted to commit genocide against aboriginal people, reported The Independent.

“The most glaring blemish on the Canadian historic record relates to our treatment of the First Nations that lived here at the time of colonization,” McLachlin said.

According to Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, who is responsible for studying the legacy of the residential schools, the figure is an estimate and the true figure could be much higher.

“We think that we have not uncovered anywhere near what the total would be because the record keeping around that question was very poor. You would have thought they would have concentrated more on keeping track”,  Sinclair told CBC.

Sinclair agreed with McLachlin’s assertion that Canada had sustained an “”ethos of exclusion and cultural annihilation”.

The incident dates back to the 19th Century, when the Canadian government developed a policy of aggressive assimilation, advocating education of aboriginal children at church-run residential schools.

According to one estimate, 20 to 40 per cent of aboriginal children who attended the residential schools died shortly after leaving the school.

Most of the children died of malnourishment or disease. Those who attended the schools between the 1940’s and 1950’s were even subjected to science experiments in which they were deprived of basic nutrients and dental care.

“I think as commissioners we have concluded that cultural genocide is probably the best description of what went on here”, McLachlin said, adding further that if anybody tried to do this today, they would easily be subject to prosecution under the genocide convention.

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US to Work with Australia, Canada to Cut Reliance on Chinese Minerals

Over 80 percent of the global supply chain of rare earth elements is controlled by one country

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US, Australia, Canada
FILE - Samples of rare earth minerals (L-R): Cerium oxide, Bastnasite, Neodymium oxide and Lanthanum carbonate are on display during a tour of Molycorp's Mountain Pass Rare Earth facility in Mountain Pass, California. VOA

The United States will team up with Canada and Australia to help countries around the world develop their reserves of minerals like lithium, copper and cobalt, the State Department said on Tuesday, part of a multi-pronged strategy to reduce global reliance on China for materials crucial to high-tech industries.

Washington grew more concerned recently about its dependence on mineral imports after Beijing suggested using them as leverage in the trade war between the world’s largest economic powers.

This would interrupt the manufacture of a wide range of consumer, industrial and military goods, including mobile phones, electric vehicles, batteries, and fighter jets.

“Over 80 percent of the global supply chain of rare earth elements — is controlled by one country,” the State Department said in a fact sheet outlining the effort, which it has dubbed the Energy Resource Governance Initiative. “Reliance on any one source increases the risk of supply disruptions.”

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The United States will team up with Canada and Australia to help countries around the world. VOA

Under the plan, the United States will share mining expertise with other countries to help them discover and develop their resources, and advise on management and governance frameworks to help ensure their industries are attractive to international investors.

Doing so will help to ensure global supply for the minerals can meet world demand, which is projected to surge alongside the growing take-up in high-technology goods. “Demand for critical energy minerals could increase almost 1,000% by 2050,” according to the fact sheet.

Frank Fannon, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for energy resources, said in an interview that tensions with China show the United States should be producing more rare earth minerals and help others ensure a secure supply. “We need to do more and we are not alone in this,” Fannon said.

Canada and Australia, two major mining countries, were partnering in the effort and other allies could join later, a U.S. official said.

Also Read- In Hot Water? Warming Oceans may Reduce Sea Life by 17%,Says Study

Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton, said Canadian officials have met with the State Department several times to discuss critical minerals and environmental issues around global mining and he looks forward to advancing the initiative.

Representatives of Australia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The plan was first reported on Tuesday morning by the Financial Times.

The plan comes a week after the U.S. Commerce Department recommended urgent steps to boost U.S. domestic production of “critical minerals,” including by providing low-interest loans to mining companies and requiring defense companies to “buy American.”

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Washington grew more concerned recently about its dependence on mineral imports. Pixabay

The Commerce report also recommended that U.S. agencies review areas that are currently protected from development and assess whether those restrictions should be lifted or reduced to allow for critical minerals development. (VOA)