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Canada’s Trudeau orders flag to be lowered for Aboriginal children | Human Rights News

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After several days of pressure, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ordered the lowering of half-mast on all federal buildings, including the Peace Tower of the Ottawa Parliament, after the remains of 215 Aboriginal children were buried. Established At boarding school.

In a tweet on Sunday afternoon, Trudeau stated that the move was “in memory of the 215 children who lost their lives at the former Kamloops boarding school and all the indigenous children, survivors and their families who have never returned home.” .

After an aboriginal in British Columbia announced this week that the remains of 215 children had been found on the site of the Kamloops Indian boarding school, indigenous community leaders and many others called on the government to lower the flag across Canada.

“As far as we know, these missing children are undocumented deaths,” said Rosanne Casimir, chief of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation.

This discovery inspired “Collective pain and trauma“For the Aboriginal communities across Canada, it also urges the government to take specific actions to solve the historical and persistent abuse of rights against the Aboriginals, Métis and Inuit.

In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Canada concluded that the country had committed a “cultural genocide” to its decades-long boarding school system.

Between the 1870s and the 1990s, more than 150,000 Aboriginal children were forced to attend church-managed schools, aimed at forcibly assimilating Aboriginal children into Canadian white society.

These children are separated from their families and are prohibited from speaking indigenous languages. Many children suffer physical, psychological, and sexual abuse, as well as other forms of abuse.

Kamloops Indian Boarding School was established in 1890 and operated by the Catholic Church, eventually becoming the largest school in the Canadian boarding school system, with 500 children at the peak of enrollment in the early 1950s.

The National Truth and Reconciliation Center at the University of Manitoba said after the remains were found: “This news is a clear reminder of the violence caused by the boarding school system and the trauma caused by communities, families and survivors.”

More than 4,000 indigenous children are known to have died in boarding schools, but efforts are still being made to find other children who have never returned home.

This week’s discovery in British Columbia has raised long-standing questions about Trudeau’s commitment to re-establishing relationships with indigenous people, as observers pointed out that some boarding school survivors are still fighting for justice.

Trudeau’s predecessor Stephen Harper formally apologized for the boarding school system in 2008. Although 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.

Observers also pointed out that so far, the “call to action” of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has rarely been implemented. According to CBC News, only 10 of the 94 recommendations were adopted. fully As of April 12 this year.

The Yellow Head Research Institute, a research center led by indigenous peoples, stated in December 2020 that only eight have been implemented. “In the end, we discovered that Canada is failing boarding school survivors and their families,” it said.

Kamloops Indian Boarding School was established in 1890, operated by the Catholic Church, and eventually became the largest school in the Canadian boarding school system [File: Library and Archives Canada/Handout via Reuters]

The committee had urged the Pope to “inform the survivors and their families on the role of the Roman Catholic Church in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children in the Catholic Diocese. Apologize to the community-open a boarding school”.

Most boarding schools are operated by the Roman Catholic Church.

Trudeau also asked the Pope to apologize, but Pope Francis stated in March 2018 that he would not issue an apology. “Obviously, I am disappointed by the Catholic Church’s decision not to apologize for their role in the boarding school,” the prime minister Say then.

Before Trudeau’s announcement on Sunday, several local leaders, including the mayor of Ottawa and Toronto, announced that they would also lower their flags to commemorate the Aboriginal children who died at Kamloops boarding school.

The town of Merritt, British Columbia, said on Friday that it will lower its flag for 215 hours in memory of the 215 children. Mayor Linda Brown said in a statement: “We must face reality and admit that the atrocities related to boarding schools have occurred in communities we know and love.”



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