First Nations Finds 751 Unmarked Graves At Saskatchewan Residential School Site, ‘Genocide Empowered By Colonial Structures’

The unmarked graves of more than 751 people have been discovered at the site of the former Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan, after hundreds of remains were found in other provinces in the past month.

“We are seeing the results of the genocide that Canada committed — genocide on our treaty land,” Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron said in a virtual press conference Thursday.

Cameron said the burial site on Cowessess First Nation, 90 minutes east of Regina, is evidence of “a crime against humanity, an assault on First Nation people.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement shortly after the announcement saying he is “terribly saddened” by the news. “My heart breaks for the Cowessess First Nation, and for all Indigenous communities across Canada,” he said.

The news comes after Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation announced in May that the remains of 215 children were found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. Researchers say hundreds of unmarked graves are also believed to be located in Manitoba related to the residential school system in that province.

There has been considerable political pressure in recent years on federal party leaders to accept the past treatment of Indigenous peoples in Canada as genocide, including the nationwide residential school system removed children from their families to enroll them in a system that strove to “take the Indian out of the child.”

A 2019 inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women concluded what has happened was genocide.

“This genocide has been empowered by colonial structures, evidenced notably by the Indian Act, the Sixties Scoop, residential schools, and breaches of human and Inuit, Métis and First Nations rights, leading directly to the current increased rates of violence, death, and suicide in Indigenous populations,” read the report.

Following the discovery in Kamloops, Trudeau said earlier this month he accepted the conclusion of a 2019 inquiry that “what happened amounts to genocide.”

“Removing headstones is a crime in this country,” he said. “We are treating this like a crime scene.” Delorme suggested through the oral history of community members, the headstones were removed by representatives of the Catholic Church in the 1960s.

Small flags, 751 of them, now dot the site of the former Marieval Indian Residential School, each marking the remains of a body. Delorme said both adults and children are believed to be buried in the graves.

Because of poor record keeping, it’s hard to pinpoint what the cause of death was for many students who disappeared at residential schools. Survivors have said some students who were hospitalized never returnedinadequate food supply left some children more vulnerable to disease, and others were threatened with death if they reported physical and sexual abuse.

Source: Politico

Canada Mourns And Demands Action Following Discovery Of 215 Children’s Remains At Found At Residential School Ran By The Catholic Church

A mass grave containing the remains of 215 children has been found in Canada at a former residential school set up to assimilate indigenous people.

The children were students at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia that closed in 1978.

The discovery was announced on Thursday by the chief of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was a “painful reminder” of a “shameful chapter of our country’s history”.

The First Nation is working with museum specialists and the coroner’s office to establish the causes and timings of the deaths, which are not currently known.

Rosanne Casimir, the chief of the community in British Columbia’s city of Kamloops, said the preliminary finding represented an unthinkable loss that was never documented by the school’s administrators.

Canada’s residential schools were compulsory boarding schools run by the government and religious authorities during the 19th and 20th Centuries with the aim of forcibly assimilating indigenous youth.

Kamloops Indian Residential School was the largest in the residential system. Opened under Roman Catholic administration in 1890, the school had as many as 500 students when enrolment peaked in the 1950s.

The central government took over administration of the school in 1969, operating it as a residence for local students until 1978, when it was closed.

What do we know about the remains?

The Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation said the remains were found with the help of a ground-penetrating radar during a survey of the school.

“To our knowledge, these missing children are undocumented deaths,” Ms Casimir said. “Some were as young as three years old.”

“We sought out a way to confirm that knowing out of deepest respect and love for those lost children and their families, understanding that Tk’emlups te Secwepemc is the final resting place of these children.”

What reaction has there been?

The reaction has been one of shock, grief and contrition.

“The news that remains were found at the former Kamloops residential school breaks my heart,” Mr Trudeau wrote in a tweet.

What were residential schools?

From about 1863 to 1998, more than 150,000 indigenous children were taken from their families and placed in these schools.

The children were often not allowed to speak their language or to practise their culture, and many were mistreated and abused.

A commission launched in 2008 to document the impacts of this system found that large numbers of indigenous children never returned to their home communities.

The landmark Truth and Reconciliation report, released in 2015, said the policy amounted to “cultural genocide”.

Source: BBC

How Chinese-Canadian Division One Basketball Player Ben Li (Lehigh University) Silences Racist Trash-Talkers On The Court

Chinese-Canadian NCAA division one basketball prospect Ben Li has received all the Asian-related racist jibes under the sun.

“I’ve heard all the names right when I step onto the court. From the players it’d be all comparisons to any Asian thing – soy sauce, Jackie Chan, Yao Ming, small eyes. Like I’d be shooting free throws and another team would be standing right there saying ‘can you even see the rim?’ and all that,” the 19-year-old Lehigh University, Pennsylvania first-year said.

Born in Toronto to native Chinese parents, Li defied the odds, stereotypes and stigma to make history as the first ethnic-Chinese player to make the All-Canadian game last year. It is but only the beginning of the forward’s mission to reach the NBA and the Chinese national team.

Already touted as the “Chinese Zion Williamson” by adoring media, Li hoped his unconventionally large physical presence on the court would help rid the arena of any prejudices. Otherwise he will have to take into his own hands.

“It’s definitely annoying but over time, their words didn’t matter to me. Most of the time they were trash-talking and all that, they were usually down. So any time they’d say anything, most of the time I don’t say anything back and just point at the scoreboard,” said Li, all 1.98m, 105kg of him.

“It’s actually pretty fun to get to prove people wrong or when they expect me to not really do anything. Then I showcase my game. Sometimes they start talking trash and I’d get my stuff going and dominate the game. That’s pretty fun sometimes.”

Li regularly seeks advice – be it basketball or identity related, or both – from hero-turned-friend Jeremy Lin, the Taiwanese-American who famously graced the NBA with the “Linsanity” era of 2012. That he is now exchanging texts with the man he watched on TV is another “pinch me” moment in his fledgling career so far.

“I definitely want to shout out Jeremy Lin,” said Li, who he featured alongside on a Chinese basketball TV show in 2019.

“This year, he gave me his number and offered me an outlet to ask questions if I’m struggling or need any advice. I look up to him like a bigger bro. That’s kind of surreal to me because he was my role model.”

“When I first met him, I told him I was just trying to get scholarships and play division one basketball so my parents wouldn’t need to pay a cent for me at university. I think that’s where it kicked off because he could relate to me and had to go through a lot of things. He’s even been kind enough to offer to get a workout in together. That’s surreal. That person you watched, that got you into the sport I’m in now. Now I can just to talk to him. It’s just crazy.”

No racial slur is justifiable, but the ignorance may be partly to do with the lack of Asian faces in the game. That applies throughout all age groups, from little leagues to the NBA, where you could count the number of Asian players on your fingers.

Li’s athletic talent had grown to the point that he would need to head south from his native Canada. The path to a division one scholarship offer was meticulously planned and it was only a matter of time before calls came flooding in.

“I had to do what was best for me and expose myself to more schools and coaches. When I got to Virginia, my coach started calling schools in to come watch. Over time, my stock grew and my coach even told me that people were calling asking ‘is the big Asian guy still available? Can I come watch him work out?’” he said.

“I do this for the younger generation looking for knowledge from anyone in my situation. They’ll read this as the next Asian guy who wants to play division one basketball. My goal on top of playing in the NBA and the national team is to inspire the next generation of Asians to break out of their comfort zones.”

“I feel like there’s a stigma that we’re less than other people in a sport just because of the colour of our skin – and I think that’s kind of bulls***. If you just put in the work and screw what other people think, you can go wherever you want to go in your sport. I don’t want other people thinking they can’t get past something if they’re Asian.”

Source: South China Morning Post

Canada Dry Settles Ginger Ale Lawsuit Over ‘Made From Real Ginger’ Marketing, Agrees To Pay Over $200,000

A man who sued the maker of Canada Dry ginger ale, claiming the brand falsely implied its soda had health benefits, is now $200,000 richer.

The maker of Canada Dry ginger ale settled a class-action false-advertising lawsuit filed by British Columbia man Victor Cardoso, who claimed to have spent years buying the carbonated beverage for his family thinking it had medicinal benefits based on its label promoting it as “Made from Real Ginger” and “Natural,” CTV News reported.

Canada Dry Mott’s agreed to pay $200,000 plus $18,607 in disbursements, even though the company “expressly denies liability and is not required to change its product labeling or advertising for products marketed in Canada,” court documents say. 

The company also agreed it would no longer make claims that its ginger ale is “Made from Real Ginger” in class-action lawsuits also filed in the U.S., according to CTV News. 

Cardoso argued in the lawsuit that Canada Dry’s product labeling aimed to “capitalize” on consumer’s perception of ginger and its health benefits, despite Canada Dry making no direct health benefit claims about the ginger ale. 

“They do buy actual ginger, but then what they do is they boil it in ethanol, and that essentially destroys any nutritional or medicinal benefits,” Mark C. Canofari, a lawyer who represented Cardoso’s claim, said in a statement, according to CTV News.

Source: Fox News

2017 – The Carter Effect transformed Canadian basketball: Ex-Raptors star ignited sport’s popularity in a hockey-mad country

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Prior to Carter’s arrival, Raptors games were such a tough sell even scalpers found it difficult to make anything off their tickets.

The Daytona Beach, Fla., native took the league by storm earning the nicknames “Half man, half amazing” and “Air Canada” for his electrifying dunks and high-flying acrobatics.

“When he was ‘Vinsanity,’ I was enjoying it as a fan like everyone else and noticing the talks amongst my friends in the classrooms — it was no longer about hockey, it was basketball now,” Menard said.

Carter’s performance at the NBA Slam Dunk Contest on February 13, 2000 forever changed the landscape of Toronto and Canadian basketball’s reputation.

The burgeoning star opened the competition at Oracle Arena in Oakland with a 360 windmill dunk and later executed the iconic between the legs dunk off a bounce.

“Without that dunk competition, I don’t know if you have this type of effect [on Canadian basketball]. It was so important that he was wearing ‘Toronto’ across his chest for that dunk contest because it put the city on the map globally — he was representing our city,” Menard said.

Source: CBC

Christmas sweater with Santa and cocaine forces Walmart to apologize

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“These sweaters, sold by a third-party seller on Walmart.ca (our website in Canada), do not represent Walmart’s values and have no place on our website,” Walmart said in an updated statement Monday. “We have removed these products from our marketplace. We apologize for any unintended offense this may have caused. These sweaters were not offered on Walmart.com in the U.S.”

Source: CNN