The Genocide Canada Wants to Hide

The Genocide Canada Wants to Hide

If we sell you land, you must remember that it is sacred, and you must teach your children that it is sacred and that each ghostly reflection in the clear water of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people.
– Chief Seattle, Suquamish chief, the statement commonly believed to have been part of a speech delivered in 1851

The English and French in what is now the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador did not buy the island of Newfoundland from the Beothuk Indians. They chose instead to slaughter them. Some stories claim that white men hunted the Beothuk for sport. Others say that the French brought Mi’kmaq Indians to the island from Nova Scotia to kill the Beothuk. Either way, the last surviving Beothuk, Shanawdithit, died in 1829, driving to extinction that last member of a tribe of native people whose skin colour reportedly gave the native people of North America the label “Redskins.”

That is the way the English wrote their history of Newfoundland. Of course they blamed someone other than themselves for driving to extinction a tribe of gentle people who likely migrated from mainland Labrador when Jesus walked the earth.

No doubt genocide was involved. But did the Beothuk really go extinct? In a way, they didn’t, any more than the Aztecs of Mexico whose descendants live in the Yucatan and Central America today. Mi’kmaq were not imported to Newfoundland, as history states. They cohabited the island, likely for centuries, with the Beothuk. They intermarried.

Only today are the Mi’kmaq of Newfoundland being recognized by the Canadian government as actually existing as a cultural group. History books said they had left the island. History stated clearly, and this was taught in Canadian schools for years, that once the last Beothuk died no more Indians (known as First Nations in Canada) lived on Newfoundland island.

History was wrong. History was written, as most history was, by the conquerors. However, a few people who lived on Newfoundland taught their children that they were in fact Mi’kmaq people, not descendants of English settlers. Most Newfoundlanders who have Beothuk and Mi’kmaq blood in their veins grew up believing that their parents were white people. to their grandparents, it was a safer way to survive. Only a small number knew the truth.

While many Francophones in Canada still hate “the English” for stealing their land, neither regrets the extinction of the Beothuk or (likely) the deaths of many of the Mi’kmaq. These native peoples had no concept of land ownership when the Europeans arrived in the 1500s. They believed, as Chief Seattle said, that “We are part of the earth and it is part of us.” They believed that the earth owned them, not the other way around. The Europeans had guns and a lust for power.

First Nations people in Canada today have problems, in many cases, but their heritage survives, some of their languages are taught in native schools and their history–the real history–is taught to every child. Not just their history and heritage, but their values survive. Though their numbers are small compared to the whole Canadian population, they are having a remarkable influence, on the Canadian government, on the Canadian people, even on people in other parts of the world.

If we want what we believe to survive our passing, we must teach our children. If we want the world to be a better place and we know how to do it, we must teach the lessons to our children.

Believe it or not, the world is a much better and safer place today than it was when I was born, during the Second World War. That change happened because good people cared. They taught their values to their children. The renegade thinkers of the past have grandchildren who share the same values but are now considered mainstream.

Chief Seattle was a great teacher, but he was not unique. He was determined to teach his values to everyone. He began by teaching the children of his tribe.

It was my turn to teach you. Now it’s your turn. Go and teach your children, no matter what their ages.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for teachers and parents who want to grow children with more important life objectives than to be good employees and consumers. The book gives not only reasons, it gives the lessons as well.
Learn more at


17 thoughts on “The Genocide Canada Wants to Hide

  1. The ancestral natives did not live a life of peace and harmony and well being. They lived primitively and savagely. The children suffered and raised thenselves while the adults tended to the daily needs to survive- food, shelter , water and heat. They existed in constsnt conflict with other aboriginal nations as well as internal band conflicts. Killing humans was normal. There societies provided for their own bands. All bands were designrd to provide essential survival naterial for their own bsnds – not the masses. The aboriginals decimated their own species as shown by anthropological studies show races we have no history of.

    The arrival of Europeans brought more good than bad. The conquerors were a people who were seeking a better life of equality, freedom and opportunity. They built the British empire that enabled all this nation building to occur with the preservation of the first people. People of this complex society have learned to love and work together for the good of all. We have mass food production, medical care, education , civil protection, etc, for all – not just a few.
    We built this world together – something to be proud of.

    The social alternatives that could have become a reality would have been catstrophic to many of us – we would never have existed.


    This shockingly Eurocentric point of view might be more supportable if those noble British you applaud had not hunted aboriginals for sport. I don’t question your evaluation of the aboriginal way of life, though I believe you have no evidence to claim that children had to raise themselves because the adults would not care for them (this is provably false). I do question your support of British and French for their noble intent. They were killers. They killed each other when they could. They killed the natives because the natives were comparatively defenceless. And because they were easier to hunt than wild game.


    • Wow, you have a completely misinformed, white-washed and libelous version of history floating around in your head, making a reminder that pride and ignorance are Europe’s leading exports. The Europeans committed acts of genocide that continue until this day, and continue to hide history, brain wash its citizenry and anyone willing to listen. There are literally mass graves littering the Midwest of The United States that have been hidden in plain site for 250-500 years as communities built around them.

      I played on a burial mound as a child, as did my mother, all of us unaware. The Settlers did infinite damage to life, freedom and truth. That truth cannot be hidden.

      The simple fact is that Native Americans were racially diluted with European blood to produce the Natives you see today, which look nothing as the original Natives did, after 500 years of racial dilution and lies. The Europeans brought rape, disease and 5 centuries of lies. Simple fact is, you are a genocide profiteer through the acts of your forefather’s and until that truth is acknowledged, there will be no justice and there is no peace.

      Those aren’t ancient burial mounds, they are mass graves from the 1600’s. Human compost piles used for your suburbs and their building projects. #truthhurts

      • This article was about a genocide in Canada about which very few Canadians know anything. Canadians have been made aware of the genocidal acts of their past, but not this one. This article is not about the USA, thus your tirade was completely misplaced and demonstrates typical American arrogance.

      • Beothuk no longer exists as a distinct and independent society. Many people of Beothuk ancestry are still in Canada, the UK and a few in other places (in small numbers).


  2. I’ve just recently completed a book called Ireland Chronology Decoded. Now you might ask what does that have to do with Beothucks? Well before I wrote the book I had no idea that Beothucks were thought to be extinct. Growing up in Nova Scotia back in the 60’s My Great Grandmother who was in her late 80’s early 90’s at the time would tell me tales of the good old days back in Cape Breton. She often said we were the Bethok (Betook) or she would say in Gaelic Beothach (The ach with a gravely roll) She told me we came from the Land of Fairies in the land of Avalon over the water’s in the Mag Mell and we had to leave when the white men came and never tell people that because they will kill you and cut you up into little pieces and eat you all up. Now of course I thought this all to be a ”story” to entertain me and scare the holy be Jesus out of me as well but I listened for hours to her. She would tell me tales and teach me Gaelic.

    While writing this book I came across the Beothuck and read of their extinction I knew of the Avalon Penensula in Newfoundland but the penny dropped when a good friend of mine from Newfoundland told me he was from Ferryland in Newfoundland and mentioned that there was an archaelogicla dig going on or near his land in Ferryland. His name is Dr. Peter J. Mory. So either my Great Grandmother was full of it or the Historians were wrong. Now perhaps they just meant extinct in Newfoundland but from what I know there was at least one group who made the trip from Fairyland to Lobster Island (She called Cape Breton Lobster Island because it was shaped like a Lobster claw how a woman who has never been to school knew that I don’t know other than that’s what she was told at some point. And with the genocide of the Bethok I’m sure a few people were killed but the people were not stupid. I mean if people were hunting me with guns and all I had were arrows it would not take too many losses to come to the conclusion it’s time to leave. From what I gathered most came to Lobster Island the rest who could not escape south crossed to Labrador and of course the old and the sick could not make the long trip to the waters and were left behind.

    I know nothing more than What my Great Grandmother told me and I don’t know if it’s true it’s just what I was told by a very old Gaelic woman.

    Now I’m the old fart and I started to try and trace back stories and see what I came up with. And what I came up with is quite unbelievable I don’t quite believe it myself but it’s what I found so rather than change what I found to conform to the norm I just let what evidence I found speak for itself and went where the path took me and left it at that. So I wanted to know if the Historians were right that I am in fact extinct or perhaps some little old lady long dead was right…

    My website is

    George Arnold
    Bethok at large 

    • Thank you so much for your comments and observations George Arnold. The history of the Beothuk/Bethok is indeed complicated, as is always the case when one people is conquered and the victor writes the history.

      The Europeans (English mostly) in Newfoundland further tried to “eliminate” the Mi’Kmaq from Newfoundland by removing the children from their families, placing them into English schools and teaching them that they were English, that there had been no such thing as Aboriginal tribes in Newfoundland. Only in recent years have Newfoundlanders (with mixed heritage, for obvious reasons) learned that some of them have Mi’Kmaq DNA and, in fact, have legal rights as decendants of Indian families of long ago. Deny, deny, deny, then lie to the children about what you can’t deny.

      I have no doubt that what your grandmother taught you about your Bethok heritage is true. Enhanced, maybe, but basically true. Please continue your quest to learn more about your heritage. We have no way to know who else might benefit from knowing their family heritage.

      It is an honour to have you contribute your comment. I hope you do not mind if I save it and pass it along to others who may be interested. I will check your web site.

      Bill Allin

  3. I have been looking closely at the genocidal extinction of the Beothuk in conjunction with the extinction (genocidal?) of the Newfoundland wolf. Living here in the sticks of Canada, I can only assume the silmilar family groups did both and continue other significant problems. (It appears from reading that current political leaders attempted to stop the Beothuk extinction but failed). I hope to create case studies that can be applied regionally and locally to help restore the “system” that preceded the genocidal one (capital, colonialism and now globalism) with the original (or aboriginal), which is what is called the “public domain” in Western literature. For aboriginals (or natives), it is an emotional relationship with the earth, sky, oceans, sun, stars….and the animals.

    • There is now strong evidence that the Beothuk did not totally vanish, but some were assimilated or relocated. This would make it an early form of the assimilation program Canada conducted for so many years through its schools.

  4. I was born and raised on the Avalon Peninsula, in the beautiful province of Newfoundland. History did not teach us that the Beothuk left the province, our ancestors taught us the truth, they were massacred and in rare cases some escaped the island. I don’t know the percentage of pure blood survivors or if there are any today. All over Newfoundland the truth was known, and we believed they were all gone, but everyone has secrets..

    Growing up my father, brother and i were slightly dark skinned, as well as my grandmother. She never mentioned anything, we never asked. That is until she was on her deathbed, these conversations came up between my brother and I… who we truly were, where were came from. Most people (including those from Newfoundland) believe that current inhabitants of Newfoundland are descendants of the English, or VIKING who were on the giving end of this massacre. My father recently told me that he had asked his mother this at a young age, who they were, where they came from.. she couldnt tell him the truth, she was scared…..i learned we were descendants of the beothuk… i dont know to what percentage my grandmother was beothuk but looking at her there is no doubt she is of native descent. she kept it a secret, and perhaps rightfully so, it wasn’t too long ago that her mother probably relayed the same horrid stories of murder and lack of compassion for the people who rightfully lived off the land, and gave back to it. in order to live in peace with the people who had came, unfortunately lies had to be told, things had to be kept secret. it’s sad now that i put this in perspective, that our ancestors had to hide who they were to stay alive, and stay on or near the land they treasured so much…….

    All in all it was undoubtedly genocide that wiped out the beothuk, and there are mixed blood beothuk still living among us, i know this because your reading the words of one right now, and Mr. Arnold above.

    • Thank you very, very much for this. I am happy and proud to share my native country with you. If there is ever any way I can offer help or support, please do not hesitate to ask.

      The Beothuk that went to England were no doubt slaves. The few that remained in Newfoundland were, no doubt, masters of survival. I hope you inherited that drive to survive and thrive.

  5. “The Genocide Canada Wants to Hide”

    Very interesting Bill Allin. I too, have concluded there is a ‘Code of Silence’ re the ‘Demise of the Beothuk.’
    Please e-mail back and let’s talk. When I have your confidence, and you mine, I’ll give you much to think about.
    In the meantime, you may find a bit about myself by Googling ‘Ivan F. Jesperson’. You will find me as author of ‘Fat Back and Molasses’, a Newfoundland Cookbook. I was also the owner, editor, and publisher of the ‘Fogo Island Profile’ from June 1969 to December 1971. Between August 1968 and July 1, 1972 I lived on Fogo Island, Newfoundland. By the way, I’m now 83 years old, and anxious that my story that may eventually answer a near 200 year-old mystery, the ‘Last of the Beothuk!”


  6. An historian and writer Mr. Bernard Assiniwi wrote a novel The Saga of the Beotuks, although a fiction, he based the story on over 20 years of researches. Worth to read in both French and English Editor: Leméac. Meegwerch,

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