Indigenous organizations and political parties on Monday demanded that the Government of Canada search for the remains of hundreds of indigenous children who disappeared in those institutions, after the discovery of 215 bodies in a mass grave in a school residence in the province of British Columbia, in the west of the country.
Perry Bellegarde, national head of the Assembly of First Nations (APN), which represents Canadian indigenous groups, requested on Monday that each of the dozens of residential schools established by the Canadian government from 1870 to 1996 be examined to locate remains of children interned in those institutions.
For its part, the social democratic New Democratic Party (NPD) requested, also this Monday, a emergency debate in the House of Commons to discuss the discovery of the remains of 215 indigenous children in the town of Kamloops, a petition that was seconded by the main opposition group, the Conservative Party.
The leader of the NPD, Jagmeet Singh, who had to stop the press conference several times to control his emotions, declared that “it is not enough that the federal government of the Liberal Party simply makes symbolic gestures. There are many other [fosas comunes] that have to be found. The indigenous communities deserve justice and that each place is kept awake. “
Trudeau’s vague compromise
For now, however, it appears that the government of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is only willing to offer words of goodwill and vague measures at the same time that spontaneous tributes to the victims of Kamloops appear throughout the country.
Despite the fact that Trudeau was asked on Monday numerous times by the media about concrete measures, the prime minister was unable to offer a single detail what your government will do.
“I think all Canadians are shocked by the news from Kamloops. We cannot even imagine that 215 children were torn from their families or that families were not informed that their children had died. Not just in Kamloops but in other parts of the country, “Trudeau said.
Trudeau then added that “hoped” for “urgent discussions” in Parliament and offer communities, survivors and families “tangible measures”.
Between 1890 and 1969
Last Friday, Rosanne Casimir, head of the tk’emlúps te secwépemc, An indigenous group from the province of British Columbia, in western Canada, revealed in a press conference that thanks to the use of penetrating radar Of land, the remains of 215 children had been located in the old school residence in Kamloops.
The boarding school, a complex that was once the largest installation of the school residence system imposed by Canada on the indigenous population, It began operating in 1890 and closed its doors in 1969.
Like many other internees, Kamloops was run by a religious organization, in this case the Catholic Church.
With the school residence system, Canada wanted assimilate the country’s indigenous population eradicating their mother tongues and their own culture.
In the boarding schools, through which up to 30% of the indigenous child population passed, around 150,000 minors, the children suffered physical, psychological and sexual abuse. In some cases, federal scientists even conducted experiments on the minors.
This Monday, Trudeau was vague as to whether it should not be the federal government that would undertake the search for remains in all school residences, and limited himself to pointing out that Canada It will “support” indigenous communities.
Last Friday, Efe asked the boss Casimir that same question, and she replied that “of course”, the federal government should be assuming those tasks.
Casimir also pointed out that the macabre finding proves that the thousands of survivor testimonies of schools, and that for generations were rejected, was true.