This content was published on February 15, 2022 – 23:37
An Aboriginal community in Canada announced on Tuesday the discovery of 54 unmarked graves in two former Aboriginal Catholic residential colleges, adding to the growing number of burial mounds whose discovery sparked a scandal that shocked the United States last year.
“Canadians still don’t believe that any human being can treat another human being, especially children, the way we treated them,” said Ted Quisance, who leads grave searches on Canadian soil, fighting back tears. , in the province of Saskatchewan (central).
Quizance, who presented the results of the investigations at a news conference, is leading the search using ground-penetrating radar near the residential colleges of Fort Bailey and Saint Philip.
Both were administered by the Catholic Church on behalf of the federal government: Saint Philip from 1905 to 1913 and Fort Bailey for four decades (1928 to 1969).
Indigenous community leader Lee Kichimunia suggested that the children “may have been killed, you know,” adding that further investigation was needed.
His community is having a “very hard time” absorbing these discoveries. “We passed by them (daily) and we don’t know there are graves there,” he added.
“Saskatchewan grieves for you,” the Territory’s Premier, Scott Moe, wrote on his Facebook account, while the Kiseikos First Nation is experiencing “the same shock and despair as other First Nations across the country.”
More than 1,300 unmarked graves have been found in schools where Aboriginal children were held as part of the government’s policy of forced assimilation into the official Canadian culture and religion, shedding light on a dark page in Canadian history.
About 150,000 Aboriginal, mestizo, and Eskimo children were forcibly recruited into 139 boarding schools in Canada, where they were separated from their families, language, and culture.
Thousands died, mostly from malnutrition, disease or neglect, in what the Truth and Reconciliation Commission called a “cultural genocide,” according to a 2015 report. Others were physically or sexually abused.
In early January, Canada announced a $31.5 billion deal to reform its discriminatory childcare system and compensate Aboriginal families who have suffered under it.