Duty to Warn

new-logo25kohls Gary G. Kohls, MD

“a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.”Ted Kennedy, eulogizing his assassinated brother Bobby in 1968

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~One of the most meaningful Christmas stories that I have ever read came from my friend from Vancouver, Canada, Reverend Kevin Annett. His story is titled “Nativity” and is printed further below.

nativityThe “little matter of genocide”, about which the United States of America shares considerable guilt, is the century-long history of abuse, rape and murder of tens of thousands of Canada’s aboriginal children in church-run Indian residential schools (known as mission schools in the US), a subject on which Kevin is an acknowledged world expert.

Annett has authored two books on the subject and has also co-produced an award-winning documentary film entitled “Unrepentant”.

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The film (and a short book by the same name) documents the history of the Canadian genocide of aboriginal children and also the shameful character assassination that was perpetrated against Annett, whose marriage, family and ministry were trashed when he refused to keep quiet about his church’s criminal activities.

Early in his ministry at a church in Port Alberni, British Columbia, Rev Annett uncovered details of a secret land deal involving stolen native land that was negotiated between his United Church of Canada [UCC – no relation to the United Church of Christ here in the US]) church, the provincial government, and church-funder MacMillan-Bloedel Ltd. When he appropriately confronted the church with the evidence, he was summarily fired (without cause) and shortly thereafter expelled from the UCC without due process.

Below is a summary paragraph from Annett’s father (author William Annett), which summarizes some of the background information that makes the “Nativity” story more understandable.

“Imagine what happens when a church minister in a small Vancouver Island community decides to blow the whistle on criminal activity extending over a century among all the churches of Canada, the government of Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Attorney General of British Columbia, MacMillan Bloedel, the largest forestry company in that Province, and it’s blushing parent, the Weyerhaeuser Company of Seattle, all thinking that it would be nice if Reverend Kevin Annett were quietly blown away. Which they did, quite effectively, trashing his life, his family and his livelihood.

“Of course there was also the mainstream Canadian media and the Canadian public, who have been, as usual, fast asleep on the subject of anything indigenous or genocidal for the past 20 years since the whistle was first blown.

“But the story also has to deal with a little defrocked shepherd boy/pastor who has the most lethal, long range, accurate weapon on earth, The Truth, which is especially potent when it hits us in the middle of the forehead.”

Here is the moving story of Rev Annett’s last Christmas (1995) at Saint Andrew’s United Church at Port Alberni, British Columbia. With the recent Canadian election deposing the Conservative Party government of Stephen Harper (who had gone to great lengths to cover-up and whitewash the painful history of the genocide), there is some small hope that the painful documentable truths will finally come out and be acknowledged by the involved institutions. If that happens there may be realized the potential of true reconciliation, which has so far been denied to the many suffering generations of victims, their families and their progeny.

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