751 Unmarked Graves of Indigenous Children Found

at former boarding school in Saskatchewan, Canada

Photo: Cowessess First Nation

By Democracy Now

HAVANA TIMES – In Canada, at least 751 unmarked graves have been found at a former boarding school for First Nations children in Saskatchewan. The graves were found near the site of the now-demolished Marieval Indian Residential School. This is Cowessess First Nation Chief Cadmus Delorme speaking at a press conference Thursday.

Cadmus Delorme: “We all must put down our ignorance and accidental racism of not addressing the truth that this country has with Indigenous people. We are not asking for pity, but we are asking for understanding. … We didn’t remove these headstones. Removing headstones is a crime in this country. And we are treating this like a crime scene at the moment.”

The graves were found just weeks after the bodies of 215 Indigenous children on the grounds of the Kamloops Residential School in British Columbia were discovered. Some 150,000 Indigenous children attended Canadian government-funded boarding schools, which were established in the 19th century and run by the Catholic Church.

Many children were ripped from their families and sent to the schools, which were found to be rife with abuse and neglect. Canada’s 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission said the schools were committing “cultural genocide.” Public pressure is now mounting to hold the Catholic Church accountable for its atrocities and to remove monuments to Canadian leaders involved in the genocide of First Nations people.

Read more news on Havana Times.

2 thoughts on “751 Unmarked Graves of Indigenous Children Found

  • The sexual abuse of children by catholic priests stems from the absurd dictate that these people should practice abstinence.
    These adults are prohibited from having sexual relations with other adults.
    They f**k children instead.

  • The Canadian government and the Roman Catholic Church have a tremendous responsibility to account for their historical horrendous misdeeds that have taken place in residential institutions through out Canada.

    This cultural “genocide”, and for all intense and purposes it must be called a genocide, is a historical fact that few Canadians knew about until now except for Indigenous elders who have been telling the Canadian government for years about these atrocities to deaf ears.

    The latest technology has uncovered burial sites in Kamloops, British Columbia and most recently in a residential school just outside Regina, Saskatchewan. There are more grave sites to be uncovered because there were residential schools strewn right across Canada including in northern Ontario and Quebec.

    Nowhere in Canadian elementary and secondary history classes were these atrocities referred. We were taught in these classes about how the French and British settlers explored and tamely occupied Indigenous territories. History was taught from the written perspective of the perpetrators and not from the actual experiences of the bearers of the brutality that occurred.

    We were taught how religious denominations both Roman Catholic and Anglican set up schools to “teach” Indigenous children how to “properly” live in their new conquered lands. The Canadian government beginning with our first Prime Minister – Sir John A. MacDonald – set up these institutions to culturally assimilate Indigenous children into the then Canadian society. He and his government and the governments that followed made it point to eliminate Indigenous culture and to incorporate these Indigenous people into Canadian society in whatever means necessary.

    History tells us what those brutal means were like. These innocent children taken from their homes, forcefully taken from their parents, were exposed to all kinds of brutal inhumane treatment inside these “schools” from physical, sexual, and psychological abuse to, as we now find out, outright death with the bodies buried in unmarked graves next door to these residential institutions.

    Canadian Indigenous people have endured tremendous suffering, humiliation, and cultural genocide for many generations from the very people who came unto their traditional lands and basically took the land and the wealth inherit in these lands for their own gratification. So here we are today, the Canadian government and the Roman Catholic Church with blood figuratively on their hands. A “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” has been set up to help ameliorate past wrongs. Many apologies have been made by Canadian Prime Ministers and other provincial politicians. Also apologies have been made by low level Canadian church leaders like priests and bishops. But that is not good enough.

    What Indigenous people across Canada are rightfully calling for is for Pope Francis, the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church in Rome, the penultimate Roman Catholic representative to come to Canada, to come to a residential institution and formally apology on behalf of all those priests and nuns responsible for such horrendous atrocities acting as church representatives.

    Until that formal apology takes place the Canadian government and the Roman Catholic Church in Rome have much to be embarrassed about on a world stage. Both have little moral standing internationally, plus without that apology both have an on-going sullied reputation in the lives and hearts of our Canadian Indigenous peoples. All Canadians should feel some sadness and some shame.

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