Historians and Indigenous Genocide in Saskatchewan


Excerpt from Author:

“It is difficult to understand why historians have not categorized the deaths caused by the starvation policy as a genocide when they all agree that the government knew prior to cutting off food rations many people were dying of starvation and have all said that the policy killed a large number of people. Some historians may be reluctant to equate the deaths of Indigenous people to the Holocaust while others may feel the numbers are not adequate enough to be considered genocide – even though they don’t really know how many died as there has been no attempt to find those numbers. Whatever the reason, this paper will show that there is a way to ascertain the number of deaths and that the procedure to determine the number is actually just straightforward history. In outlining the context of the genocide and showing how one Saskatchewan First Nation, Cowessess First Nation, through negotiations for its Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) claim in the 1990s determined how many of its band members died, this paper asks, considering the number of historians who have looked at the starvation policy, why is it that none have done the work to determine the number of deaths the Canadian government caused from this policy? To be clear, the argument put forth here is that the policy that has come to be known as the starvation policy was an act of genocide.”

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Publication Information

Innes, Robert Alexander, "Historians and Indigenous Genocide in Saskatchewan." Shekon Neechie: An Indigenous History Site. June 21, 2018.


Innes, Robert Alexander
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