Protests on Canada’s National Day – news.ORF.at

During the demonstrations on Canadian National Day (July 1) many buildings and monuments were smeared with red paint. In Calgary, there have been colorful attacks on at least ten Catholic churches, CBC News reported yesterday (local time). Words like “we were children” and “our lives mattered” were written on the church doors.

In the past few days, fires have broken out in several Catholic churches that were on aboriginal reservations in Canada. The authorities suspect the burning of some of these cases.

REUTERS/Shannon Fanris

The protest actions were said to be linked to recent grave finds at church rehabilitation homes for Aboriginal children in Canada. In the past few weeks, in quick succession, Indigenous communities have reported the discovery of the remains of nearly 1,000 children from Indigenous families near former rehabilitation centers.

Recently, 182 unmarked graves of purported Aboriginal people were found near St Eugene Mission School near Cranbrook, British Columbia on Wednesday.

Abuse and abuse

Between 1830 and 1998, it is estimated that about 150,000 Aboriginal children – often forced – were placed in Canadian re-education homes. Many of these 139 homes were run by the Catholic Church. There the children should learn about “Christian civilization” on behalf of the state. Often they were not allowed to speak their mother tongue. Many of them were mistreated or abused.

In a face-to-face meeting, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently called on Pope Francis to apologize to the indigenous peoples of Canada. The Canadian Bishops’ Conference announced Tuesday (local time) that a group of Indigenous representatives from Canada will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican from December 17-20. She said it was about promoting “dialogue and healing”.

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