Protestors Topple Queen Elizabeth And Victoria Statues After 1000 Indigenous Children Discovered In Mass Graves
During Canada’s national day, statues of Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria have been pushed off their plinths in the wake of more Indigenous children’s remains being discovered.
A further 182 children were then found on Wednesday, June 30, at a former Catholic-run school near Cranbrook.
It’s believed a large majority of all these children were in unmarked graves.
In light of the ongoing outrage, residents in Canada held violent protests yesterday, July 1, on what marked the country’s national holiday – Canada Day.
They were protesting against the country’s residential school system which saw more than 150,000 Indigenous children taken from their families and forced to attend state-run Christian schools. These schools ran from the early 1900s up to the 1990s.
Protestors in Winnipeg proceeded to pull down statues as part of their protests; one of Queen Elizabeth II and one of her great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. People could be heard chanting ‘no pride in genocide’ as they toppled the Queen Victoria statue, Sky News reports.
As well as being pulled down, the statues were covered in red paint and appeared to have flags around their necks.
The plinth in which the Queen Victoria statue stood had red handprints placed all over it along with a sign that read, ‘We were children once. Bring them home.’
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is yet to comment on yesterday’s protests, but shared a tweet acknowledging Canada Day. He wrote, ‘The progress we’ve made as a country didn’t happen by accident, and it won’t continue without effort. So as we celebrate this place we call home and the people we share it with, let’s recommit to building a better future – for everyone.’
In the wake of the country’s recent findings, people were quick to point out they felt they had nothing to celebrate.
One person wrote, ‘Tell us exactly what you’re celebrating in light of recent discoveries,’ while someone else commented, ‘After recent tragedies re-discovered I’m seeing Canada in a new light. In hindsight I had a very rose tinted view of the country. As a place to one day emigrate – But I was younger then. Cardinal Collins should make an apology on behalf of The Church.’
The Catholic Church is yet to make a formal apology for the way indigenous children were treated, but Pope Francis has scheduled to meet Indigenous survivors who attended the controversial schools at the end of the year.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
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