Statues of Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria have been toppled by protestors in Canada after even more Indigenous children’s remains were discovered.
The bodies of 215 children were found in May, followed by hundreds more being discovered last month, with some aged as young as 3-years-old being found.
The institution in which they were found was once Canada’s largest Indigenous residential school, one of the institutions that held children taken from families across the nation.
To add to the devastating total, a further 182 children were then found on Wednesday, June 30th, at a former Catholic-run school near Cranbrook. The majority of these children were in unmarked graves.
Understandably, this has sparked outrage worldwide, leading to many people around the world calling on the Pope and the Vatican to apologize for the inhumane treatment of these children.
Yesterday, which is marked nationally as Canada Day, residents held protests in light of the recent discoveries…
They protested against the country’s school system which took 150,000 Indigenous children away from their families and forced them to convert to Christianity at the state-run schools, which ran from the 1900s up to the 1970s.
Protestors in Winnipeg pulled down statues of Queen Elizabeth II and one of her great-grandmother, Queen Victoria as part of their protests. As Sky News reports, people could be heard chanting “no pride in genocide” as the Queen Victoria statue hit the ground.
The statues were also covered in red paint and had flags around their necks, with Queen Victoria’s statue plastered full of handprints, along with a sign that read, “We were children once. Bring them home.”
Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, is yet to comment on yesterday’s protests but he did share one tweet about the day. He wrote, “The progress we’ve made as a country didn’t happen by accident, and it won’t continue without effort. So as we celebrate this place we call home and the people we share it with, let’s recommit to building a better future – for everyone.”
People took to social media sharing that they felt they had nothing to celebrate this Canada Day…
One person wrote: “Tell us exactly what you’re celebrating in light of recent discoveries,” while someone else commented: “After recent tragedies re-discovered I’m seeing Canada in a new light. In hindsight, I had a very rose-tinted view of the country. As a place to one day emigrates – But I was younger then. Cardinal Collins should make an apology on behalf of The Church.”
A third wrote: “Not much to celebrate this Canada Day. I am feeling ashamed. You must do right by the Indigenous People. Find all missing children, CLEAN DRINKING WATER, and ensure reconciliation happens and not with empty promises. They are the true Canadians. Do the right thing.”
Pope Francis will meet Indigenous survivors from the controversial schools at the end of the year. But the Catholic Church still hasn’t issued a formal apology for the way indigenous children were treated.
Let’s hope the outrage will force them to do the right thing.