You may recall that last September, Dr. Payam Akhavan, Professor of law at McGill University, acted as the Zoryan Institute’s legal advisor in submitting an amicus brief to the European Court of Human Rights in regards to the Perincek vs Switzerland case.
Dr. Akhavan recently lectured on “cultural genocide” of Canada’s Indigenous peoples in Toronto last week. This subject is particularly interesting for Armenians as parallels can be drawn between the case of Canada’s residential schools for Indigenous children, and the government’s subsequent denial, as was the case for the Armenian Genocide of 1915 by Turkey.
Not only were children forcibly transferred from their families and assimilated to a new religion and culture, but the government’s acknowledgement of their crime has taken decades, and still may not take full accountability.
But there is progress, and dialogue is emerging in Canada, evidenced by TRC’s recent report. Perhaps this system of reconciliation can be a model to be adopted in Turkey. The lecture was especially relevant, as the International Institute of Genocide and Human Rights Studies (A Division of the Zoryan Institute) will be partnering with McGill in March to host a conference on the findings of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Montreal.
More information on the McGill and IIGHRS conference, entitled “From Truth to Reconciliation: Towards a Just Future for Canada’s Indigenous Peoples,” will be circulated soon. We hope you will join us!
See more on Dr. Akhavan’s lecture, and the TRC Calls to Action below.