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What, if anything, did Hitler think of the Canadian government's treatment of the Native Americans?

Asking because the TVTropes "Final Solution" page said (now removed):

While the Holocaust may be the Trope Namer, the term "Final Solution" was also used in the Canadian government's attempts to eradicate/assimilate the Native population in the 19th and early 20th century. The term comes from a letter said to have been written by Indian Affairs Superintendent Duncan Campbell Scott in 1910. Hitler was a fan of the program, designed to wipe out the entire "Indian problem" by means of cultural annihilation through the residential school system. Some other means included experiments in malnourishing Native children, and eugenics, that is, sterilizing Aboriginal and Metis women.

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  • I see you've asked a related question about this on a different SE site. For what it's worth, I cannot locate that alleged letter in the online archives for RG10, but feel free to check for yourself. Dec 27, 2016 at 23:23

2 Answers 2

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That source is pretty dubious, given that it's a wiki about TV tropes, and that the page no longer contains the content you quote, for starters. For finishers, Germans speak German, rather than [Canadian] English, so the idea that Hitler would use an obscure letter from an obscure Canadian, in a different language on which to base the name of his genocide program does not seem very likely. (For the record, in Nazi documentation, the program was named "Endlösung", which is translated into English as "Final Solution". I'm not sure what, if anything, finding an English document with that phrase proves).

As to the claim itself, Hitler did claim to draw some inspiration from North America and the British empire for his Final Solution, but I know of no mention of Canada, specifically. (And once again, the idea that Hitler would look to a minor power for inspiration over greater powers, or more accessible examples doesn't strike as particularly credible.) According to Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography, by John Toland:

Hitler’s concept of concentration camps as well as the practicality of genocide owed much, so he claimed, to his studies of English and United States history ... He admired the camps for Boer prisoners in South Africa and for the Indians in the wild west; and often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America’s extermination—by starvation and uneven combat—of the red savages who could not be tamed by captivity.”

So, in short, Hitler probably didn't think much, if anything of the Canadian treatment of Native Americans, at best, lumping it in with what the Americans or the British did. Which, of course, would be a very standard view of Canada (seeing as how you mentioned TV).

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I can't speak to the veracity of the rest, and agree "TV Tropes" is a dubious source, but I can confirm that Duncan Campbell Scott did coin the term "the final solution" in reference to residential schools. Here is the quote:

It is readily acknowledged that Indian children lose their natural resistance to illness by habitating so closely in these schools, and that they die at a much higher rate than in their villages. But this alone does not justify a change in the policy of this Department, which is being geared towards the final solution of our Indian Problem.

Source:

Department of Indian Affairs Superintendent D.C. Scott to B.C. Indian Agent-General Major D. McKay, DIA Archives, RG 1-Series 12 April 1910

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    Wow. What a scumbag.
    – Ne Mo
    Jan 1, 2022 at 21:56

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