Hidden from History:
The Canadian Holocaust
A Special Appeal for Kevin Annett and his Work in Uncovering the Truth
Bea Bernhausen firstname.lastname@example.org
Wed, 23 Apr 2003
This is a special appeal I'm adding my name to. I know Kevin Annett as well and can vouch for all that is written below. It's hard for us to understand the depth of what happened to native people in this country, and others, as history has been completely re-written. It is only now--and to the largest extent due to Kevin's work that these unbelievably depraved acts of native genocide are coming to light. We should be able to relate to it a little better now---as we see the same thing unfold before our very eyes today with Iraq--South America and other third world countries.
So please, get educated about this issue which is so fundamental to those of us living in this country--by ordering Kevin's book---and believe me it's an eye-opener. And if you can, please contribute to Kevin's work--as he has taken on a task few others would even try.
23 April, 2003
To all People of Good Conscience,
My name is Matthew Helm, and I'm a practicing psychologist and counsellor. I'm also a close personal friend of Reverend Kevin Annett, much to my good fortune.
I am writing this to you because a very good and very brave man is dying before my eyes. I am referring to Kevin Annett.
I have known Kevin since high school, and for those thirty years he has grown in stature in my eyes as a truthful and loving man who embodies what Jesus also tried to do in his brief life: to love the stranger, and to bring light and truth to our sad and corrupt world.
Many of you know Kevin as the United Church minister who lost his family, job and security for giving native men and women terrorised in the residential schools a platform in his Port Alberni church ... and as the man who has struggled on against hopeless odds to bring out the truth of how churches and the government committed genocide here in Canada.
These are but the bare facts of a rich and devoted man, and a wonderful father of two children, who expends each day on the hungry and lonely souls around him.
The reality is that Kevin is a man under the gun, and he is collapsing.
Kevin is too modest and private a person to share any of this with you, and I'm sure he will be angry with me for doing so without his knowledge or permission. But the truth needs to be told: for his sake, and for the sake of the cause and the countless poor and native people for whom he has been struggling all these years.
Kevin has been stripped of his professional means of making a living since January, 1995. He lost his children in a fraudulent custody battle in 1996. He has been the victim of a sustained blacklisting and smear campaign engineered by officers of the United Church of Canada, the RCMP, and the government of Canada. And, since June of 1998, he has been the target of death threats, physical assaults, and legal attacks designed to demoralize and break him completely.
These attacks have succeeded in keeping Kevin impoverished and without regular income, and almost totally marginalized.
Undaunted and alone, Kevin has faced these assaults with a calm dignity, courage and perseverance that should rank in the history books alongside the courageous deeds of embattled men and women.
If he showed such valour in wartime, Kevin would be honoured, bemedalled and held up as a great man. But instead, the world largely ignores him and his sacrifice: for he is exposing the dirty and murderous history and continued reality of our culture which most of us simply want to ignore.
And yet all of these attacks are finally destroying our hero. Last week, Kevin began to suffer chest pains and symptoms of angina and heart disease. The stress on him is unbelievable. He tries to carry on as a father to his children, a minister, and an activist at the forfront of an international campaign. He must either stop his work altogether, or find new support to carry on. Otherwise, he may collapse completely or even die.
As a people, we tend to honour our heroes only after they fall. Perhaps our own fear and compromises with the evil around us makes us do so, denying the hero help today lest we fall victim to the Thing which assails him.
But Kevin Annett and the cause he is fighting for does not need our praise after he dies. He needs our help TODAY.
By help I mean the kind that sustains a brave fighter like him every month: spiritual, public, and financial.
Some of you have offered sporadic help, and money, to assist Kevin, for which he and I are grateful. Kevin is showing his gratitude to you by carrying on in his work each day: he counsels and feeds native people, prays with them, presides at their funerals and helps record their stories of being brutalized by police, and government-protected rapists, and by church officials in "residential schools".
Unlike many others, Kevin earns not a single dollar for doing this work. Frankly, he wouldn't even think of asking for such renumeration. That's why he needs people like me to ask on his behalf.
Kevin told me last week, when I asked him how he has survived since 1995,
"I don't know. Something mysterious has kept me afloat. And as long as it keeps me going, I'll know I'm on the right track."
I want to see Kevin keep going. I assume you do too. So now is the time for us to put our money where our good intentions are.
We need to create a monthly sustaining pledge fund for Kevin and his work. He is doing what nobody else is, with no means or organization behind him. It's time we built that for him.
Kevin Annett is the pastor of All Peoples' Church, a non-denominational church in Vancouver that unites and services native and non-native people. He receives no salary in this position.
This church is also a registered charitable society which can issue tax receipts for any donations.
And so here it is: I urge each of you to issue to this organization 12 cheques, one for every month of the coming year. All Peoples' Church is formally affiliated with our Truth Commission, and has pledged to channel every penny given to Kevin into his maintenance and the work of our Commission.
We need to establish a fund of $2,500 every month to provide the minimal support to sustain Kevin and his work with The Truth Commission into Genocide in Canada. And it all starts with you.
Please make out your cheques to All Peoples' Church, and mail them to:
Lori O'Rorke (Treasurer)
Canada V9R 2H8 (ph: 1-888-265-1007)
A charitable tax receipt will then be issued to you, allowing you to retrieve most of your giving at income tax time. (Or if you want to dispense with this, just make out your cheques directly to Lori O'Rorke).
To illustrate Kevin's extreme need at this time, he is unable to pay his rent in one week's time. He cannot drive his car anymore because he lacks $200 each month for car insurance. And yet he must somehow come up with $400 for travel funds and $500 to print off more of his books before next Tuesday, when he is scheduled to speak to a large gathering of residential school survivors in three northern Ontario native communities.
Consider this email a practical act of prayer, from an agnostic and jaded professional who nevertheless knows a man of God when he sees one, and will not let a good friend wither away because of our collective indifference.
Don't let the criminals win. Help keep Kevin Annett alive and working!
This is more than a plea. Let Kevin know that you are with him: through an e-mail of support to him, and 12 sustaining monthly cheques.
His email is: email@example.com
Peace to each of you, and Justice in our time,
Matthew R. Helm, Ph.D.
Convenor, The Truth Commission into Genocide in Canada
AND FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, ORDER KEVIN'S NEW BOOK, AND GET YOUR LIBRARY TO DO THE SAME:
And book Kevin in to speak in your community!