With the pledge, Canada settled with 324 Indigenous communities who had filed lawsuits. If a federal court approves, the money will go to an independent fund that aims to “revive Indigenous education, culture and language, to support survivors in healing the wounds and reconnecting with their heritage,” the government said in a statement.
From the late 1800s through the 1990s, the Canadian government sent approximately 150,000 children of Indigenous descent to boarding schools. Those 139 schools were mainly run by the Catholic Church. Children there were deliberately cut off from their family, language and culture, with the aim of ‘getting the Indian out of the child’ and turning the children into Euro-Canadian Christians.
Many children were physically and sexually abused in the schools. Thousands died from disease, malnutrition or neglect. There was talk of cultural genocide, according to a national commission of inquiry.
In the past two years, the abuses at the schools have been in the spotlight, because hundreds of anonymous graves were discovered at the locations of the former schools. More than 1300 graves have now been identified. Pope Francis traveled to Canada last year to apologize for the abuse.
Leave a Reply