Home WORLD Aboriginal Canadians struggle to cope with “unimaginable loss” Aboriginal Rights News

Aboriginal Canadians struggle to cope with “unimaginable loss” Aboriginal Rights News



This week, Aboriginal people across Canada are struggling to find the remains of more than 200 Aboriginal children, including some as young as 3 years old. They found this on the site of a former boarding school in Western British Columbia. remains.

Chief Rosanne Casimir of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation announced (PDF) On Thursday, the remains of 215 children were found on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Boarding School, stating that “this is an incredible loss that has been mentioned but never recorded.”

“As far as we know, these missing children died undocumented,” Casimir said.

“Some people are only three years old. We seek a way to confirm that out of the deepest respect and love for the missing children and their families, we understand that Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc is the last resting place of these children.”

Anishinaabe’s lawyer Danielle Morrison said that Aboriginal communities across Canada are feeling “collective pain and trauma.” “Currently there are [are] The fire was lit, the pipe was lit, and a ceremony was held to commemorate all the precious children who lost their lives,” she told Al Jazeera.

The National Truth and Reconciliation Center at the University of Manitoba also said in a statement: “This news is a clear reminder of the violence caused by the boarding school system and the trauma that communities, families and survivors have suffered so far.” statement.

For more than 100 years, Canadian authorities have forcibly separated thousands of Aboriginal children from their families and forced them to participate boarding school, Aims to cut off the family and cultural ties between the indigenous people and let the children integrate into the Canadian white society.

These schools were run by the church from the 1870s to 1996, and were full of physical, mental and sexual abuse, neglect and other forms of violence. They created a cycle of intergenerational trauma for Aboriginal people across Canada.

Kamloops Indian Boarding School was established in 1890 and operated by the Catholic Church. became The largest school in the Canadian boarding school system, with 500 children during the peak enrollment period in the early 1950s.

Morrison said: “The only purpose of opening a boarding school is to drive Indians away from their children.” “This is to assimilate the indigenous people of Canada. In the words of a supervisor at the time, it was basically to get rid of the’Indians’. People problem’.”

In an online commemorative event on Saturday, Karen Joseph, CEO of the Canadian Reconciliation Charity, said that the discovery in Kamloops marked the first time that “whispering awareness has become a reality” and its impact is being felt across the country. To, especially the survivors of boarding school.

“Although the children we are referring to go to Kamloops Indian boarding school, we know that all these children are not from Kamloops. This is the nature of boarding school, it is to keep our children away from us. Homeland,” Joseph said.

“Sorrow is not limited to that community, they are now carrying a huge burden.”

‘Cultural genocide’

In 2015, a National Truth and Reconciliation Commission stated that the Canadian government had committed “cultural genocide” by forcing more than 150,000 indigenous children to attend boarding schools.

“The question of what happened to their loved ones and where they are resting has always plagued families and communities,” the committee said in its report, regarding children who have never returned home. “Throughout the history of the Canadian boarding school system, no one has worked hard to record the number of students who die during school each year in the entire system.”

The committee said that so far, more than 4,100 children have died due to illness or accidents at school, but it is still working to determine the identity of other children.

The Canadian government formally apologized for the boarding school system in 2008, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that the discovery of the children’s bodies “is a painful reminder of the dark and shameful chapter of our country’s history”.

But observers pointed out that boarding school survivors were forced to sue Ottawa, demanding compensation and accountability for what happened to them.

Last year, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation News Report In 10 years, the government spent 3.2 million Canadian dollars ($2.6 million) in court to fight a group of survivors at St Anne’s Indian Boarding School, an Ontario boarding school rife with abuse .

Others also pointed out that although boarding schools may be closed, there are still a large number of Aboriginal children taken away from their families across Canada.

According to census data, more than 52% of foster children in 2016 were indigenous children, and indigenous children only accounted for 7.7% of the country’s total population.

“This is not a historical event,” Joseph said at an online event on Saturday. “This situation continues today-the loss of our children and our people is only due to our skin color.”


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