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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: July 2019

Chapter 1 - North American Genocide Denial


Two signal events occurred in 2014 – one in Canada and one in the United States – that bring home why it is worth attempting to determine whether the crime known today as genocide occurred in North America over the course of its colonization. On the face of it, they have little in common: one is the opening of a new museum north of the Canada–U.S. border, the other is an anniversary to the south. Yet they both speak eloquently not only to the role of power in shaping how history is told and how it acquires the status of knowledge, but also to how memory, and the vigilant refusal to forget, can challenge – and resist – this process. As a recent book exploring the phenomenon of hidden genocides observes “[t]he blood of the victims whose deaths do not matter to the living is just blood in the sand … The blood of those who matter to the living will be remembered.”