Riverside, California 2021-06-01 09:12:54 –
Indigenous leaders are calling for an investigation of all former boarding schools in Canada after the bodies of 215 children were found.
Toronto, Ontario-Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday that it was not an isolated incident that more than 200 children were found buried in a former indigenous boarding school.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s comments came when indigenous leaders were calling for an investigation into what was once a boarding school, a facility that housed children taken from families across the country.
Rosanne Casimir, Secretary of Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation, British Columbia, said the bodies of 215 children, including a 3-year-old child, were confirmed this month with the help of ground penetrating radar. She described the finding as “an unthinkable loss spoken but unrecorded” at the largest Kamloops Indian Residential School in the country.
“As Prime Minister, I’m horrified by the shameful policies that robbed the community of indigenous children,” Trudeau said.
“Sadly, this is neither an exception nor an isolated case,” he said. “We’re not going to hide it. We have to admit the truth. The boarding school was a reality. It’s a tragedy that existed in our country and we have to admit it. The children were separated from their families, damaged and returned, or never returned. “
From the 19th century to the 1970s, more than 150,000 First Nations children had to attend state-sponsored Christian schools as part of a program to assimilate into Canadian society. They were forced to convert to Christianity and were not allowed to speak their native language. Many are said to have been beaten or verbally abused, killing 6,000.
The Government of Canada apologized to Parliament in 2008, admitting that physical and sexual abuse in schools was rampant. Many students remembered being beaten by speaking their native language. They also lost contact with their parents and customs.
Indigenous leaders cite the legacy of abuse and isolation as the root cause of the prevalence of alcoholism and drug addiction in settlements.
Plans are underway to invite forensic experts to identify and repatriate the bodies of children found buried on the Kamloops site.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would discuss with ministers Monday what more the government should do to support survivors and communities. The flags of all federal buildings are half-masts.
Opposition New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh called for an urgent debate in parliament on Monday.
“This is not surprising. This is the reality of boarding schools,” says Singh.
“215 indigenous children were found in an unmarked mass grave,” he said. “Whenever we think of unmarked burial grounds, we think of the distant country where the genocide took place. This is not a distant country.”
The Kamloops School, which operated from 1890 to 1969, was operated as a day school until the federal government took over from the Catholic Church and closed it in 1978.
“We have expressed our deepest sorrow for the tragic death of the children of the former Kamloops Indian Boarding School,” said Richard Ganion, Archbishop of Winnipeg and President of the Catholic Episcopal Conference of Canada.
The National Truth Commission has a record of at least 51 children dying in school between 1915 and 1963. Some people have died of tuberculosis. The Commission said the practice was not to send the bodies of students who died at school to the community. The Commission also said that sufficient regulation was not established because the government wanted to keep costs down.
“This finding is a stigma in our country and needs to be corrected,” said Michelle Lempel Garner, an opposition Conservative lawmaker.
Perry Bellegarde, chairman of the First Nations Conference, finds a graveyard at a former boarding school is nothing new, but the wounds on its branch are always painful.
Sol Mamaqua, an opposition member of the New Democratic Party in Ontario, has asked the governments of Canada and Ontario to investigate the premises of other former boarding schools.
“It’s a big public secret that our kids are lying to their former school property. It’s a public secret that Canadians can no longer look away,” he said.
215 child remains found, Canada says not isolated incident Source link 215 child remains found, Canada says not isolated incident