Manitoba's aboriginal chiefs believe their $1-million donation to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights should give them clout about whether the museum uses the controversial term "genocide" to describe Canada's aboriginal policies.
After discussing the matter for days, the chiefs sent a blistering private letter Friday to the museum, which recently decided against using "genocide."
The museum seems to be "sanitizing the true history of Canada's shameful treatment of First Nations," says the letter from Southern Chiefs Organization Grand Chief Murray Clearsky to museum CEO Stuart Murray.
The letter ties the "genocide" debate to a $1-million donation from aboriginal casino profits and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.
"In 2009, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs gave a $1,000,000 donation to the Museum... with the understanding that a true history of the treatment of First Nations people would be on exhibit," the letter says.
The museum found itself in hot water more than a week ago when it became known it was not using the word "genocide" to describe Canada's treatment of aboriginal people. In its own defence, the museum said the decision was reached by senior staff, not the museum's board.
In a statement last month, Murray said although "genocide" would not be in the title of a CMHR aboriginal exhibit, the museum "will be using the term in the exhibit itself when describing community efforts for this recognition. Historical fact and emerging information will be presented to help visitors reach their own conclusions."...Sheesh, it's almost as bad as having your genocide relegated to a spot near the loo.
Update: It's Backwoods Bernie's "Dueling Genocides" (I love that number).