"In virtue of the employment of this concept in the *Royal Proclamation* the crowns officials in the North American colonies were put on notice that they would be held responsible if surveys, land grants or settlements were made relative to lands that not having been ceded to or purchased by Us are still reserved for the Indians. It was in virtue, specifically, of threatening its colonial officials with the penal sanctions annexed to the crimes of Misprisions of Treason and Fraud that the imperial crown sought to control the pace of the European invasion into the Indian country of the interior of North America.
Later, I can remember reading in the newspapers about the suicides of the young Indians at Davis Inlet. A second penny dropped. I remembered the drinking parties spent with the rascally element of your people, and the inevitable juncture at which the sentiment became rage and then despair against the injustice of life under the boot heel of the white masters. The deaths by suicide, alcohol abuse, internecine violence of my friends and friends of friends suddenly formed a pattern with the appalling statistics of Indian mortality in Canada.
Treated like subhuman animals by being concentrated on their cage- like reserves, the people responded in a fashion that the behavioral scientists might have predicted as inevitable. They sought escape in forms of self destructive behaviour. The pattern formed by the premature deaths of so many of my Indian friends and acquaintances and those of others about whom I read in the newspapers or in the statistics became visible, as did my duty as a human being. And the words of the *Genocide Convention* took on personal meaning. Every human who knows that genocide is happening and who can act so as to prevent it but does not, for whatever reason, by his inactivity aids and abets the genocide.
I realized that meant me, no less than the switchman on the rail line to Auschwitz who declined to reroute the train on the ground of futility or willful blindness or whatever. I realized that If not you, who? If not now, when? applies to everyone in the society in which the genocide is occurring."
[for full text, see Bruce Clark pages]