Archive | September 2014

The Daughter and Would Be Teacher

Helen was a praying young lady. She had a relationship with the Crucified One.  It is so that hurtful things do happen to those who shine forth in life and the roads of life through and by praying.  ‘Their is grief in the family; how very true this pain is; and how so difficult to place into words… Yet these seeking ones are not without hope in this world.’


This is your daughter. She was born in the year just before my own birth.

We are talking about Helen Betty Osbourne.

‘Discover her life; and then do not forget her.’

Helen Betty Osborne

Helen Betty was the eldest of 12 children born to Joe and Justine Osborne in Norway House Cree Nation, in northern Manitoba. She was a beautiful young woman who was greatly loved by her family and friends.  Her younger siblings had many special, warm, loving memories of the time she spent with them.  Perhaps it was this special relationship with her siblings that inspired her determination to become a teacher with the plan of returning to teach at her home community.

Her life and dreams were tragically taken from her on November 13, 1971.  She was only 19 years old, and she was attending school in the town of The Pas, Manitoba, where she was brutally murdered by 4 young men.

It took 18 years to bring her case to justice.  Due to the circumstances surrounding her death, in terms of the reasons it took so long for the investigation to proceed, the matter of Helen Betty Osborne became the subject of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry in 1992.  The Inquiry found that her death and the barriers to justice were the direct result of racism and sexism and indifference.  The Government of Manitoba, represented by the Minister of Justice, apologized to the family of Ms. Osborne, stating that the justice system had failed Helen Betty at every step of the process.

A foundation to honour Helen Betty’s memory and her educational dreams was created in 2001 through the Manitoba legislature, with all party support, and with the blessing of her mother, the late Justine Osborne,

Forty years after her death,   Helen Betty’s family, friends, and supporters from across Manitoba, held a traditional pipe ceremony and walked into the dawn to commemorate and close that tragic night for her.  The dawning sky was coloured with red, pink and yellow as the sun rose on the horizon.  From that moment, the spirit of Helen Betty Osborne symbolizes the hope for guiding families of all missing and murdered women.

The spirit of Helen Betty Osborne lives on in the name that was given to her by Ms. Mary Young, one of our foremost educators who has been  an inspiration to generations of Aboriginal post-secondary students,  The name that she  gave  to Helen Betty is, “Kay yah pi ka ki no amakate Ikwe – The Woman who Continues to Teach.


Please support:

Helen Betty Osborne Memorial Foundation

235-405 Broadway Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 3L6

(204) 945-3909


Remember the Road They Walked

Editor’s Short:

Instead of token efforts, instead let us instead try to look at the pain and grief of missing aboriginal daughters more closely.

‘She was your daughter; your sister; your aunt; and mine too.’


NDP forces debate on aboriginal women
By Lee-Anne Goodman — CP — Sep 19 2014
OTTAWA – An aboriginal MP delivered a powerful plea Friday for a national inquiry into murdered and missing indigenous women, recalling his own brother’s death as a five-year-old in a residential school 60 years ago.
Romeo Saganash, an NDP member from northern Quebec’s Nunavik region, implored the Conservative government to call an inquiry after the New Democrats successfully moved a motion allowing them to raise the issue in the House of Commons.
“The violence that is perpetrated against indigenous women is the violence against the environment today, and the same violence that assaulted parents and grandparents in residential schools,” Saganash told the chamber.
The NDP, billing Friday’s vote as a victory over a government that was “asleep at the switch,” took advantage of scant Tory attendance after the daily question period to pass a motion related to committee hearings on the inquiry question.
The Tories apparently couldn’t round up enough members to return to the House to shut down the motion, and so those in the chamber ended up voting in favour of it.
During the ensuing hour-long debate, Conservative MP Susan Truppe defended the government’s record on murdered and missing aboriginal women. So too did Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq, a Nunavut MP.
“I am an aboriginal woman; I stand in this House and listen, day in and day out, to the debates in Commons from the NDP and the Liberals talking about aboriginal women’s issues but when it comes to taking real action, I see the opposite happen day in and day out,” she said.
“I’m an aboriginal woman who went to a residential school …. But I also came into this House to make change to help aboriginal women.”
But it was Saganash’s memories of his mother’s decades of grief over his brother, Jonish, that provided the most poignant moments of the unexpected debate.
“He was five years old,” Saganash said. “He never came back. Apparently, he died the first year he arrived at the residential school.”
Their mother never knew where her son had been buried, Saganash added. Forty years later, his sister learned of the burial spot, filmed it and showed Saganash’s mother the footage.
“The day she saw that video — I had never seen her cry that way. That was closure. That is what we call closure …. This is what indigenous families in this country need. That is what they want. That is why they are calling for this national inquiry.”
In remarks that earned a rousing standing ovation from the NDP benches, Saganash said aboriginal women are much more likely to fall victim to violence than their non-native counterparts. He said an inquiry needs to examine the root causes at play.
“Where is the Canada we used to know, Mr. Speaker — the one that has the history of upholding high standards of human rights and social democratic values in this country?”
“It is no longer here.”
Calls have been growing ever louder over the past year for a public inquiry to examine what is behind the alarming number of missing or murdered aboriginal women in Canada.
An RCMP report released in May found aboriginal women have been much more prone to violent deaths than non-native women in Canada. Police have compiled a list of 1,026 deaths and 160 missing-persons cases involving aboriginal women, the report said — hundreds more than previously believed.
The latest federal budget committed $25 million over five years to address crimes against aboriginal women and girls. But the opposition NDP and Liberals have been demanding a sweeping national inquiry.
Follow Lee-Anne Goodman on Twitter at @leeanne25

The Premium on Life

Editor’s Short:

It was only yesterday in the grand picture. Europe had just been conquered . The captured peoples of the nations on that continent were then tagged for counting. Premiums were taken on their lives.

This is the story of the International Tracing Service (ITS) , IBM, International Red Cross, insurance companies and your conscience. It is about the present struggle to see what is really inside the archives at Bad Arolsen in Germany. It  concerns the use of slave labourers in Nazi Europe; and the benefiting by many insurance companies from deductions on the stipend pay of human slave labourers.

For sixty years, those records have been secret.  Most of those human slaves are dead. Yet several of those same insurance companies, which received those premiums, exist among us today – yet under different names.

The point is that is one continent can be conquered, tagged and numbers than so can another. Especially when we give permission for the same companies and variables to keep operating among us.


The Story:

To properly counts so many millions of people a very smart process needed to be implemented. A certain technology would need to be used to do the trick. A Abteilung Hollerith or Hollerith Department was set up in each camp’s Labor Assignment Office. IBM personnel serviced the machines on site in the camps. These documents often carry IBM’s stamp of authenticity, “Hollerith erfasst,” that is, “registered by Hollerith.”

The implications for Holocaust and Nazi-era research are staggering. Among the many by-products of the ITS revelations is vast additional proof of IBM’s minute-to-minute involvement in the 12-year Holocaust, new insights into the corporate beneficiaries of Germany’s slave and forced labor programs, an explosion of evidence that insurance companies participated in and benefited from the decimation of the Jews, and the dark details of persecution suffered by millions of individuals who would have otherwise disappeared into the bleak vastness of Hitler’s war against humanity. Some of the most important archival details of the nearly impenetrable archives have finally been revealed to this writer exclusively.

Because the ITS had previously focused only on individual victims, it never assembled the larger picture of which companies or entities were involved in Hitler’s industrial scale oppression. With digitizing, that is now possible. Assembling the big picture will be a problem for a host of major and even minor corporations, a gamut of insurance entities, and of course IBM, which automated and organized much of the process. Indeed, the slow pace is good news for them.

Without the power of IBM technology, the terrible details of Nazi crimes embedded within the ITS archives could not been preserved, and could not have been revealed with such stunning depth.

Even though millions did not survive, much of their story did. The details are embedded within the miles of records housed by the International Tracing Service (ITS) located at Bad Arolsen, Germany. But for sixty years, those records have been secret, available only to survivors and their nuclear families tracing loved ones, but even then only after years of heartbreaking persistence.
After a decades-long international effort, the sensitive ITS archives will soon be pried open. The unlocking follows a hard-negotiated accord among the eleven nations that comprise the commission that owns the archive. Those countries are the United States, France, England, Belgium, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, and Israel, plus the two former Axis powers, Italy and Germany. The International Red Cross was given custody and control of the archive, but only pursuant to the agreement.
Only an estimated twenty-five percent of the prodigious ITS collection relates to Jews. The remainder covers the fate of Gypsies, Poles, Dutch, and numerous other groups targeted for oppression and destruction.

Within Section 1, record subgroup 6 is a trove of prisoner cards organized by numbers and not names. These numbers were by and large assigned according to the Hollerith punch card system designed by IBM engineers. Forty-nine camps and ghettos are listed in this section, most assigned an alphabetically sequential number by the ITS. The Amersfoort police torture camp in Holland leads the list, numbered 1.1.1; the trio of Auschwitz camps in occupied Poland is 1.1.2, but those records hail mainly from the transport camp, with very little from the Birkenau death camp, and almost nothing from the Monowitz labor camp. The Warsaw Ghetto is listed as 1.1.44. Buchenwald is listed as 1.1.5.
Section 1’s subgroup 1.2.1 includes prisoner transport lists which were organized by IBM Hollerith and generally referred to in Nazi documents as “Hollerith transfer lists.” Subgroup 1.2.3 contains Gestapo registrations.
Section 2, dubbed “Forced Laborers,” with documents dating from 1939 to 1947, includes corporate involvement and insurance matters, and totals about 4,455,000 pages, or 13.5 percent. These files include the names of companies that benefited from slave labor. They are divided mainly by the Allied zone of occupation that captured the files. The American Zone is subgroup 2.1.1; the British Zone is 2.1.2. Nazi employment bureau records, such as the Employment Exchange in Warsaw numbered 2.3.3, are also contained in this collection. An IBM customer site in almost every concentration camp organized slave labor through the Abteilung Hollerith or Hollerith Department in each camp’s Labor Assignment Office. IBM personnel serviced the machines on site in the camps. These documents often carry IBM’s stamp of authenticity, “Hollerith erfasst,” that is, “registered by Hollerith.”
Sources with direct access to ITS files confirm that Hollerith punch cards or other Hollerith designations have been seen in many sections of the archive covering both wartime and postwar years. For example, postwar section bears the notation “Hollerith cards of children.”
Among the millions of pages in Section 2 are many insurance records, covering sickness or health coverage of inmates, especially from local health insurance companies. Many of these so-called local health companies were, of course, part of larger, multinational insurance conglomerates. The local entities operated under disparate names that would not reveal their true ownership. Previously unknown but shown by the documents, wages of some laborers were handed over to local health insurance offices. Slave laborers in camps were, of course, paid no wages. But “forced laborers” taken to occupied lands were often paid a small stipend reduced by a traditional “withholding” to these local health insurance offices. This record section also features an abundant group of documents from a number of state-owned insurance firms, especially Austrian, Ukrainian, and Belgium firms.

That said, as the larger picture comes into focus, including labor and insurance information, the extent of IBM’s involvement will become more detailed.

Full Credit: Edwin Black






The Indian Act and Propiska (Passport) System

Consider: If they can do it to Aboriginal Peoples in ‘nice’ Canada – ‘they can do it to you too’

The history underneath…

The Indian Act is one of the most under-examined Canadian questions of our time. How this Act could have received so little independent examination, given the scope of its control over reserve Indians in this country,  is a mystery much deserving of our attention.

The Indian Act, and what followed with it, is in fact a form of passport or propiska (Rus) (‘human control’) system. Propiska has been used in other societies under different names to hold down a people group; or population (i.e. Russian Government holding down Jews, inside the Pale of Settlement, in the Russian Empire)


The Red and Black Series:

This filing system was introduced shortly before the Indian Act of 1876, which for the first time consolidated under one piece of legislation all legal matters pertaining to First Nations. The Department of Indian Affairs was mandated under the Indian Act to manage all aspects of the lives of those subject to it.

Historian John Milloy asserts that through the introduction of this act the federal government obtained “the power to mould, unilaterally, every aspect of life on the reserve and to create whatever infrastructure it deemed necessary to achieve the desired assimilation, enfranchisement, and as a consequence, the eventual disappearance of First Nations.” The ‘subjects’ gradually introduced into the Subject Extension Registers mirrored the introduction of new legislation such as the Enfranchisement Act. It reflects a world cosmology, an attempt to create a taxonomy of all activities relating to First Nations people, from government policy to personal issues such as community membership, wills, estates and land surrenders, down to mundane issues such as sand and gravel and dog licences.


John S. Milloy, A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School System, 1879 to 1896, Winnipeg, University of Manitoba Press, 1999, p. 61.