Kevin Annett: A Modern Abuser Of Residential School Survivors…

Willie Blackwater – Residential School Survivor

I’ve been doing some more research on Kevin Annett and have found what is quite likely the most disturbing story anyone will ever hear about him. I’ve written before about how Annett has slandered indigenous elders like Jan Longboat, which is bad enough- but, today’s story is about how Annett slandered one of Canada’s most heroic residential school survivors. It put tears in my eyes just thinking about this story.

Willie Blackwater was originally from the Kispiox Reserve in northern British Columbia. In 1964 he was taken away from his family and forcibly relocated to the Alberni Indian Residential School on Vancouver Island. The school was run by the United Church. During his first week at the school Blackwater, who was 10 years old, was sadistically raped by a school supervisor named Arthur Henry Plint.

Blackwater tried to complain, and alert others twice after his abuse. Both times he was taken to Plint’s back room and beaten. Then, during the summer, Blackwater told his father about the abuse- in the fall, when Plint found out, he beat Blackwater so badly that he had to recover in the school’s infirmary.  That was the last time, as a child, that Blackwater complained.

Pint was charged criminally, and in separate cases in 1995 & 1997, he was eventually sentenced to 12 years imprisonment. Then, in 1998, 30 students, including Blackwater filed a civil suit. The church’s lawyers were brutal, and the questioning was hard. Eventually, when the case was finished, Blackwater stated “It was like being victimized again, only with an audience this time.” Eventually, the case was settled out of court.

On June 12, 2008, Blackwater was invited to the House of Commons where Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a historic apology to Blackwater, and all of the other victims of Canada’s residential schools. The apology was hardly enough to make-up for the pain they had received, but it was an important landmark.

If Blackwater’s residential school tragedy wasn’t bad enough- it got worse when he crossed paths with Kevin Annett.

Blackwater didn’t think very highly of Annett’s meddling with the affairs of residential school survivors.  Blackwater told a reporter at the BBC that he resented that Annett, a white man who had never attended a residential school, had become the public face of the dead children. He stated that Annett had “disgraced” native people with his publicity seeking.

As usual, when encountered by someone who didn’t agree with his work, Annett went ballistic and began to publicly attack Blackwater. Here’s what Annett had to say about him in an article in December, 2008:

“Willie Blackwater has been the government and church’s residential school Poster Boy of a ‘good Indian’ since 1996, when the first lawsuits began against these institutions.”

Kevin Annett has been denounced by people of at least six indigenous nations- and, each time, he followed the pattern of responding with hate, slander and malice. His claims that he is supporting indigenous communities are nullified each time he does this. He doesn’t know when to stop- instead, he leaves a trail of hurt in his wake.

Those people who are still enabling Annett are as guilty as he is now. There’s no more excuse for being ignorant, I’m not the only person who is writing and exposing Annett- there are many of us out there now. Put simply- Annett, and his supporters, are as damaging to the survivors of residential schools as the people who abused them in the first place.

We should all take note of who Annett’s enablers are- people like Alfred Webre, Marci Lane, Alex Hunter, Jose Jesus Miranda, Lori O’Rorke, Bill Annett, Henry Mackow, Chris Roubis, and Doreen Agostino. There are many others including publications like the Salem News, Terrace Daily, Red Ice Radio, Critical Mass Radio

It is no longer acceptable for any of you to quietly step-down now. The only honourable way out for you now is to stand-out and make a very public statement asking Annett to stop the damage he has been doing. You have been contributing to the pain of people who have already gone through too much.

What’s it going to be? Are you going to take the heroic route, and take-down Annett’s deception- or, are you going to be cowardly and let it continue?

And, Kevin, as it stands, you are no better than Arthur Henry Plint- in fact, you may be worse. To capitalize on such heinous crimes, when asked specifically to stop by their victims, is beyond shameful. Each time you attack and slander indigenous people you may as well be re-enacting the abuse they were subjected to at the residential schools.

You say you are a religious man Kevin. If this is true, you should be scared- very scared….

Permanent link to this article:


Skip to comment form

  1. It is very sad that peoples feelings have been so hurt by this… this whole affair goes beyond being handled badly… to an all out hoax perpetrated on the victims… shameful.

    1. Shameful, dark, and sick…

    • Standing Water on August 9, 2012 at 11:28
    • Reply

    Everyone attended compulsory primary education—it takes a really, really sick (perhaps damaged by abuse is better) individual to suggest that indians are the only people who are forced to go to school. And until society acknowledges that it is _just as hard_ for little white kids to sit in boxes as it was for indian kids to be beaten, we will make no progress on the issue of education and coercion.

    Most people cannot even see coercion unless it is so horrible as to be mutilating, etc. Simply keeping a child in a room for lessons is coercion; a crime, just like beating or raping. Unless, of course, children, all children, not just native children, are chattel, to be moved about the adults and hammered into shape through testing, inspecting, etc. etc.

      • sheray on August 9, 2012 at 13:40
      • Reply

      Oh my God you have got to be kidding Standing Water! Comparing keeping a child in a classroom for learning lessons as a crime comparable to being beaten or raped!!!!! I work an outreach job with sex workers whom identify themselves with various races and creeds, some who were raped, beaten, coerced and forced into providing sexual service as young as 3. All of these victims which for understandable reasons were unable to attend school on a regular basis or complete their education as youth. On an ongoing basis I encounter stories of youth being deeply harmed, body soul and spirit when all they truly wanted was a life where they could be free to go to school in peace. Your views on children attending school as being chattel is kind of infringing on a child’s right to have opportunity to learn. I am not saying that school is the b all and end all when it comes to actual life experience and learning. For some, homeschool is a more appropriate way to go for their particular natures. What happened in residential schools was not education and I think that is pretty understood by all who are not full of racist hate.

      1. Standing Water has exposed the root cause of most violence in today’s society, our education system. All children and youth are obligated by law to attend at least 9 years of systematic indoctrination, labelled as education. This is an accepted form of abuse, since it “frees” adults of the parenting role, so both parents can work to support the family economically (another form of slavery). Please take some time to research the constant criticisms of the schooling system. A good start is a TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson. Schools are a colonial constructed undemocratic process to maintain order in society. The price is freedom (cause of violence). I arrived at this conclusion after 13 years of research of the concept “sustainable development”. This “education system” is also the root cause perpetuating and increasing the global issues. What is needed is an democratic education system co-designed by the learners and teachers to build on the students’ individual talents.

    • sheray on August 9, 2012 at 13:46
    • Reply

    Greg you stated it right when you point out that Kevin Annett is using other peoples traumas for his own profit and pursuit of publicity. His ethics are very twisted indeed.

    1. They are, aren’t they? What a sad state of affairs…

    • MauSusan on August 9, 2012 at 15:55
    • Reply

    Please anyone out there start looking at the trail of innocent victims..Kevin and his thoughtless sheep continue to victimize and slander. Kevin is not the judge, Kevin is not deemed worthy enough to carry a title of honor but yet he continues to divide people not bring people together in a healing sense. Kevin if honorable would be listening and well as those that follow him. He n his followers are doing the same thing they r accusing others of..lying, segragating, ignoring, slandering, not listening, bamboozling, ..take a break Followers of Kevin and you too Kevin…go for a good quiet solitary walk in the forest, think about how u would like to be treated and start treating people with love…slandering is not an action of love. Falsely accusing others is not an action of love..start talking and listdning to those that have been slandered by Kevin and i’m sure then you’ll get a clearer picture.

    1. You put that very well…

  2. I’ve been saying this for years. Annett claimed all along that he was not gaining anything through his so-called advocacy work, but really he was working on his master’s degree (which is why he wanted to be published so much), and also working on that film (also to bolster his academic program). I notice he took all the rants about his ex-wives off his website, guess they didn’t serve his purpose anymore. Take a look at where all the ‘donations’ go…I did, and they all lead back to him. He is one disgusting, pathetic creature.

    1. So, you’re saying that Annett was planning on his film about residential schools when he was working on his masters- before he joined the church? That’s fascinating information, and exposes another one of his lies. His official story is that he didn’t learn about Residential Schools until he got to his church on Vancouver Island. Fascinating…

      1. No, he was working on a masters degree after he was defrocked…hmmm…maybe it was a PhD…anyway, it was all on his website but I see he’s taken a lot off stuff off the site, such as his rants about his ex-wives and other remarks that probably landed him legal warnings about slander (remarks made about survivors and Native leaders).

    • Fran on April 21, 2014 at 06:40
    • Reply

    I cant see who is the author of this article?

    1. Click the “Your Humble Narrator” tab at the top of the page and all will be revealed!

    • dominique rappe on August 18, 2014 at 18:07
    • Reply

    I’m sorry for the suffering of all indians
    I also think you’re very “stubborn” and this is very good and you are people who knows what dignity means…you’re strong people
    I’m glad that there are still indians
    I hope that I didn’t offend you and sorry for the bad english

    1. I’m assuming that you read this article after posting an angry comment on a previous one. If that’s true, and my reporting helped you better see the truth about Annett’s abuse (I’ve always thought this article was one of the best examples), then no need to worry about offending me- I totally understand.

      It’s easy to want to back Annett’s battle- after all, many people were hurt by the residential schools. But, when we look into how he treated the people who he claimed to be helping, it’s impossible to ignore that Kevin Annett is no better (and, perhaps worse in some ways) than the original abusers. Thanks for sharing, I appreciate your openness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.