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Did Canada Back Out On A Part Of The UN Genocide Treaty?

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A communication was forwarded to the United Nations in July 1948 with a specific direction from Canada. 

The request was that any reference to Cultural Genocide be removed from the United Nations Convention on genocide in article three. Otherwise, the delegation must boycott the entire convention according to the memorandum.

The thought being If assimilation were successful, then the by-products of this policy wouldn’t be happening. 

It was easy to dismiss the oppressive Indian Act as one promoting the civilization of Onkwehonwe; in fact, it was the exact opposite. However, public access to data and resources for the general public was non-existent, so the narrative took hold.

Despite a Physician, several heads of state and the entire league of Nations/United Nations knowing, It was a time when the only people being listened to about what was happening in Canada were those committing the crimes or those intentionally asking others to ignore it.  

You should support or initiate any move fort the deletion of article three on “cultural” genocide.If this move is not succeddful, you should vote against Article three and if necessary, against the convention. The conventions as a whole less article three is acceptable, although naturally legislation will naturally be required to implement the convention. 

You will find support in the United States point of view expressed on part 10 of document E/794. You should refer also to resolution 96(1) of the assembly on Decembwer 11, 1946 defining genocide which it should be argued, excludes “cultural” genocide from the terms of reference given by the general assembly to ECOSOC. The matters dealth with by Article three are more properly relevant to the protection of minorities

Secretary of state for External Affairs

The Prevention and Punishment of the crime of genocide

The United Nations began to prepare its draft Convention on “The prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide” in 1946, the following year after World War II had ended. All United Nations members voted to implement the elements of articles under the convention without ever questioning why Canada wanted to remove cultural genocide

The political persona of Canada was relatively untarnished. 

1948 Postage Stamp

It was time for what some would call the beginning of Canada’s Golden era! So naturally, Canadian Politicians placed great importance on establishing strictly Canadian values and morals in the public forum. However, behind the scenes was a much different picture. 

A newly elected Prime Minister, Louis St Laurant, launched a vigorous campaign against communism and fought for Canada to have greater independence within the British Commonwealth

Ironic, isn’t it.