So Canada, friendly, open country right? Think again.
In the news this week the remains of 215 indigenous children found on the site of a “residential school” in British Columbia, some as young as 3. Absolutely appalling.
The residential schools for indigenous children were set up around the time of the birth of Canada as a nation and continued well into the last century. They were mostly run by the catholic church, the main policy being that indigenous children should be forcibly removed from their parents and schooled in a way so that they could better assimilate into the mainly white population of European origin. They were then subjected in many cases to physical and sexual assault and the finding of so many bodies possibly indicated that genocide was also carried out, or at least they were kept in such desperate conditions that allowed the uncontrollable spreading of deadly diseases.
This may be the tip of the iceberg and there are now calls to have digs at all the former school sites across Canada to see if there are more bodies buried.
I can hardly think of anything more appalling, even today the treatment of indigenous people here leaves a lot to be desired. So sad. Various prime ministers including the current one have ‘apologised” but that is the absolute least that should be done. The Pope has typically refused to apologise on behalf of the catholic church. I am not a Canadian by birth but I am one now and I feel so ashamed.