There is no pride to be felt on the streets of Toronto, no anthem to be heard as it is on a national holiday in Canada. Instead, anger and sadness – about the discovery of mass graves of indigenous children.
“You killed thousands of children. Hundreds of thousands. We don’t know it. But we’re here to tell you it was wrong.”
“We want all children to be found and brought into their families, and for Canada to better treat indigenous peoples.”
It was not until the middle of the week that the graves were discovered again near a former school for indigenous children. Using ground-penetrating radar, experts found the remains of 182 bodies. This was the third discovery of its kind in a matter of weeks.
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In 1874, about 150,000 children of indigenous peoples and mixed couples in Canada were separated from their families and placed in church homes to force them to adapt to European traditions. Many of them were ill-treated or sexually abused.
Geronimo Henry also spent 11 years in one such house in Brentford.
“I remember it as a prison for children. But we had done nothing wrong except that we were a native population.”
It is true that he never saw graves there during his school days. Nevertheless, Henry demands that the entire area be searched for it.
“All children deserve a proper funeral so that they can find their way into the spiritual world.”
Back in Toronto, these protesters think it’s not the right time to celebrate National Day with hot dogs and fireworks. They are calling for a speedy investigation into Canada’s dead children.
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