Canada Reveals Names of 2,800 Indigenous Children Who Died Anonymously

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Canada Reveals Names of 2,800 Indigenous Children Who Died Anonymously

 

For more than 120 years, compulsory and government-run boarding schools in Canada have housed about 150,000 indigenous children. They were forcibly removed from their native homes to enroll in these institutions. Of these enrolled students, it was believed that 4,200 of them died due to abuse and maltreatment.

 

Photo Credit: OperationMaple on Youtube (via All That's Interesting)

 

According to All That’s Interesting, a site for curious people who want to know more about what they see on the news or read in history books, reports show that students back then were prohibited from engaging in their cultural practices. They were sexually abused or routinely mistreated. A 2015 report by the National Center for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) described the effects of this educational policy as “cultural genocide.” Some of the victims were young children – infants, three-year-olds, four-year-olds, and higher. 

 

Photo Credit: OperationMaple on Youtube (via All That's Interesting)

 

In an interview, National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations said, “The residential-school system was a genocide of Indigenous peoples, First Nations peoples, forcibly removing from their homes and inflicting pain. We still feel the intergenerational trauma of that genocide. We see it every day in our communities.” 

 

Photo Credit: All That's Interesting

 

Together with the Aboriginal People’s Television Network (APTN), the NCTR revealed the names of all 2,800 “children who never came home” in a 164-foot scarlet banner at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. Ry Moran, the NCTR director, stated that they wanted to ensure that people know the children. “Know that when we talk about the children who never came home from these schools, they were real children with real names who came from real communities with real families. This makes the gravity of what we’re dealing with, as a country, all the more real,” he said. 

In the ceremony, some of the lost children from the institution were present, such as siblings Frank, Margaret, Jackie, and Eddie Pizendewatch. Margaret recalled how, back then, they couldn’t talk to each other and would use a secret language to communicate. NCTR still has about 1,600 more children left to identify. 

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