Can we admit that we are beneficiaries of genocide?

Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
2021-06-01 20:44 [p.7798]

Madam Chair, to my hon. colleague and parliamentary secretary, it is a hard thing to acknowledge as settler culture Canadians that our entire society has been built on dispossessing indigenous peoples of their lands. The residential school system was part of the institutionalized racism and genocide to break down the culture, the societies and civilizations that were here before European settlers.

I am wondering if the hon. member would return to the question, and I know it is a tough question, that was just asked by the member for Vancouver East. Can we admit that we are the beneficiaries of a genocide?

Pam Damoff (Oakville North—Burlington)
2021-06-01 20:44 [p.7798]

Madam Chair, when we think about how our country was founded, we see it was founded on racism, and it was founded on colonialism. As a result, indigenous peoples not only had to deal with this 150 years ago but also continue to deal with it today. We see systemic racism in policing. We see systemic racism in our health care system in Canada. Often we look south of the border and seem to think that we are better than people who live in the United States, and we are not.

The racism and colonialism that continues to exist in Canada is unacceptable. All Canadians have to take responsibility for that, and all of us have to take action to make sure that we end the racism and colonialism that continues to exist today.