It would take the Métis 100 years to recover as a people, and to slowly filter back, to find others occupying and prospering on their lands.
Batoche is not a proud accomplishment for the Canadian Army, or the Government of Canada.
Canada's Racist Past - But the newly minted Dominion of Prime Minister John A Macdonald was determined to prove that it could be as heartless, in persecuting minorities (Indian and Métis), as the British Army, which, in 1838, ruthlessly killed hundreds of French Canadians and burned their churches, homes, and farms.
The British army created a national wound which still festers among many Quebecois, 170 years later, and is at the heart of the Sovereignty or Separatist Movement which flares up in the hearts of many French-Canadians with every passing generation.
Who, they question, wants to stay in a country that brutalizes its minorities with contempt, and armed force, in political disputes?
The British Army killing French-Canadians in Quebec, and the Canadian Militia killing Métis in the West, were viewed in Quebec as opposite sides of the same coin, because Métis were mixed race people of Indian and French background. French-Canadians, like Liberal Opposition Leader, Wilfrid Laurier, left championed Métis rights, believing they were being persecuted simply because they were French.
Laurier became famous for his parliamentary speeches in defence of minority Métis rights and his eloquent pleas for clemency for Louis Riel below left.
Anglophone Prime Minister John A Macdonald right trumpeted, "Riel shall hang though every dog in Quebec bark in his favour." Macdonald left French-Canadians free to infer who the "dogs" were in Quebec. Racism does bedevil Canadian history, and at the highest levels. And so was hanged the man we call today, the Founder of Manitoba.
Eleven years later, the voice of multi-cultural tolerance, Wilfrid Laurier, would become Prime Minister of Canada, and for 15 years lay the groundwork for the 20th century, which he said would be "Canada's century." It would be a Canada that would depart from its racist past, and become a voice of reason in the world, and speak up for, and seek to protect, minorities at home and abroad. And for a century Canada, and her politicians, did exactly that, as Canada became the most multicultural country in the world, and a welcoming host for peoples of all colours, and creeds from every corner of the globe.
Thanks to Laurier's clarion call, Canada in the 20th century won unrivaled praise around the world for living up to the high standard he set in domestic and foreign politics. In the 1950s Prime Minister Pearson, on Canada's behalf, would win the Nobel Peace Prize, and international praise, for fulfilling Laurier's dream. He's the only Canadian ever to win this world class honour.
Not a Peep - Then at the opening of the 21st century, Canadian politicians of all stripes suddenly reverted back to the dark racist past of over a century ago, by dramatically turning their backs on the plight of non-white, non-Christian relatives of Canadian minorities whose women and children were being systematically killed in the many, many hundreds by the Israeli Forces in the Middle East.
No Canadian politician spoke up in their defence; no Order of Canada holder rushed to denounce their extermination; no preacher of "Never Again" could be found, anywhere in the land, pleading for their lives; no self-styled Canadian Human Rights Advocates, previously heard, loudly and publicly, expressing their outrage, protesting human rights abuses by non-whites, spoke up. Not a single one; not one peep. It's always different when white Judaeo-Christians are the perpetrators.
At the dawn of the 21st century, there was no Laurier, and no Pearson, left in the land. Canada entered what will long come to be seen, in its history, as an aberrant departure from a noble, progressive, humanitarian, 20th century past, and a descent into the Dark Ages of human conduct. Laurier and Pearson would, both, turn over in their graves.
Canada has no one left, willing to speak up for Riel - or for the women and the children...
But an endless supply of vocal spokesmen for ensuring that George Bush's legacy outlives the most malevolent Presidency in world history.
Decent, non-racist Canadians will just have to wait, and hope, that some day, non-white Muslim, Palestinian, Lebanese, Iraqi, Iranian, Afghan, and Pakistani women and children, will become as fashionable concerns for white Judaeo-Christian human rights activists, as Israeli ones always are.
|Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
||One of the most stunning pictures ever produced, to express the outrage of those - admittedly - declining numbers of people who oppose the killing of women and children in war, is this famous Boer War era poster.
Don't look for any 21st century Canadian to draw such a picture.
Certainly don't look for any Canadian newspaper or magazine to publish one.
Today's Canadian politicians, human rights activists, and journalists, give such sentiments short shrift with a cryptic, if callous, "Too bad, eh?"
It serves to remind us all that History is not a steady linear progressive development. That so-called highly civilized countries, like Britain here, or Germany, to name only two, can suddenly revert to embrace, even indulge themselves with relish, in acts of savage Nazi barbarism, whenever it suits them.
And no one says a peep...
At the dawn of the 21st century, racism has come back into fashion...
|L'Assiette au Beurre - Sept. 28, 1901 (A Boer mother protesting British war crimes)
Orig. lithograph in magazine - Image Size - 25 x 32 cm, 22 pages
Found - Yorkshire, UK
|Target the Civilians - Some 26,000 Boer women and children died in British concentration camps in South Africa, during the Boer War, as a direct result of British Army policy towards the family members of the enemy combatants it was fighting. But it worked. It brought the Boer War to a close, successfully forcing the Boer guerillas to surrender because they could not bear to lose more of their women and children to the British war machine. Some 10% of the Boer population - mostly women and children - was wiped out to seal the British victory. Clearly the Israeli Defence Forces, with its long ties to the South African military, are avid students of the Boer War.
Blame the Victim - In an interesting parallel to today, with the deliberate killing of hundreds of Muslim women and children by the ruthless Israeli Defence Forces - sorry but that's the official name of those doing it - the women victims were commonly blamed for their own deaths. Echoing many heartless British voices of a century ago, are many equally cold-blooded commentators in Israeli, Canadian, and American media today - the Toronto Star's hard as nails Rosie diManno is merely one of the most merciless - who snark at the pile of corpses dismissively, "It's their own fault; they have only themselves to blame," and coldly urge on the killing, in the name of self-defence. Who says that civilization advances...?
|Devil's Advocate - "Now who was it who said, "Never again?"
Voice of Reason, in Self-Defence - "Well now, common, be reasonable; you know we only meant when it suits us."
Above and below the Jean Caron family house rebuilt on the same site to replace the one burned by the Canadian forces at Batoche on the first day of the battle.
The military camp (zareba) was in the field to the right of the house and the cemetery and the church behind the woods to the left.
Left a photo probably showing the Caron house on fire with the military camp on the right.
For a look at the people who were the victims at Batoche...
The Caron house was rebuilt after the Rebellion which Métis people today call the Métis or Riel Resistance.
120 years after the Battle of Batoche, a passionate Métis - Mark Calette - is the Site Manager of the Batoche National Historic Site, a place from where his relatives were chased and shot up by the armed forces of the Government of Canada, over a century ago...
Many generations would sit on the porch and sadly discuss those horrific three days in May, when these quiet pasture fields were turned into hell on earth for Métis men, women, and children, by the Canadian Anglophone soldiers who had come from thousands of miles away to try to put an end to the Métis fact on the prairies.
Dead, meaningless history to many in Ontario...
But not to a young Métis girl from the Cut Knife School in western Saskatchewan who went on a pilgrimage to visit the spot...
And won The Government of Saskatchewan Heritage Poster Contest for her drawing and her thoughts...
Heritage Poster Contest for Saskatchewan Students
Cut Knife Student Receives Award at the Saskatchewan Legislature
Aleah Anseth, Grade 6 student from Cut Knife Elementary has won
the provincial annual Heritage Poster Contest.
Aleah entered a hand drawn picture of the Caron House in Batoche.
The picture has significance to her, as her great great grandparents built it.
Aleah was presented her award by Dr. Linda Haverstock, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan
and Joanne Crawford, MLA Fort Regina Rosemount.
The award was presented to Aleah at the Saskatchewan Legislature on February23rd, 2006.