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Minister Duncan denies residential schools as cultural genocide

Aboriginal Affair Minister calls them "education policy gone wrong"
Reported by David Kirton
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Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan proclaimed on Wednesday that the Indian residential school system was not an act of genocide, but the product of an "education policy gone wrong".

This comes despite his boss Stephen Harper's statements of apology in 2008.

"Two primary objectives of the residential school system were to remove and isolate children from their homes, families, traditions and cultures, and to assimilate them into the dominant culture."

He even acknowledged that some sought to "take the Indian out of the Child".

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, of which Canada is a signatory state, includes the term "cultural genocide" but never actually defines it.

However, in earlier drafts it clearly laid out five of them in its seventh article, and these include "any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities" and "any form of assimilation or integration by other cultures or ways of life imposed on them by legislative, administrative or other measures".

Duncan did acknowledge on Thursday that the residential system might have been lethal to aboriginal cultures if it had continued.

Edited by News Talk Radio's Jared Knoll.