Duncan Campbell Scott: Racial Hygienist and Poet du Jour


But who was the man behind the misunderstood Canadian genocide?

DCS (Duncan Campbell Scott) is romanticized as a “man of his day” from a bygone era amongst many academics.  One who couldn’t have possibly understood and been aware enough to control his passive homicidal tendencies; DCS is also not surprisingly still considered in Canadian literary circles as one of the highly regarded Confederation poets. To this day, he holds a place as a fellow of The Royal Society of Canada. He remains a National Historic Person whose best-known claim of importance is to a poetry group and an “education advocate.”

The Forsaken: a poem of a man watching an onkwehonwe woman fight for survival, most likely while he ate tea and crumpets close by. Reminiscent of National Geographic films of nature

Born in 1862 to a Methodist minister father and a French mother, DCS was by all accounts was not of any particular interest in stature or considerable intelligence. Education was geared towards natural ability during this time, and DCS did not exceed any bare minimum standards of the time.

The assertion that his family was too poor to send him to medical school preposterous given that the lad had been educated at the prestigious Stanstead College private boarding school. 

DCS Humble abode in Ottawa that was built for his family

The fact of the matter is that he quite simply did not have the intelligence in academia to attend medical school. This made DCS ineligible to pursue his dreams of practicing medicine as we understand the capabilities of sociopaths working in medicine; however, that only placed his focus on Onkwehonwe affairs.

One can only imagine what he thought about Kahkewaquonaby and Oronhyatekha Who were the first two Onkwehonwe medical doctors having received their credentials through the University of Toronto in 1866 and 1867 (only months apart) based on their academic ability? 

Dr Edmund Jones Left & Dr Peter Martin Right

Instead, DCS joined the civil service and became a copying clerk for The Department of Indian affairs at the tender age of 17, earning 1.50 a day. This was not luck but rather his father calling in a favour to an equally horrific friend John MacDonald. This friendship of his father has helped seal DCS forever in the annals of Canada’s extermination initiative. 

DCS prior to 1898 sometime

Canadian history paints him as an unfortunate struggling scholar gifted in music and arts, but  DCS is well known in the memory of Onkwehonwe as one of the most prolific perpetrators of colonial genocide. His Prose was less than average, certainly not one that evokes anything other than to serve as a reminder of his deeds.

Duncan himself proposed and approved the Indian act legislation that banned our ancestors from hiring lawyers in 1924 to defend land claims. 

It wasn’t a coincidence that this was the same year that the RCMP strolled into the quiet village of Ohsweken with their guns with lust for our freedom and land.

Shotgun legislation, Wild Wild West style

If anything, we can call DCS a Serial Killer by proxy for the unimaginable amount of children that simply disappeared or, worse yet, those whose deaths were dismissed as accidental on the notices their parents received via post from the residential schools

For the Parents that refused children to be treated in any way by the colonial hospitals or health care providers, Well DCS had a solution for that too, One which Canada attempted to hide. Onkwehonwe traditional medicines were dismissed without regard

With the whim of a pen DCS removed even more children

Not quite the same

DCS was never able to earn his dream of obtaining his doctorate; however, in 1922, through the University of Toronto, he was given an honorary doctorate of letters; The same university that two Onkwehonwe doctors earned their doctorates from almost sixty years previously.

We will forever know him as  Canada’s racial hygenist as they continue to honour him as their poet.