Independent UN experts are calling for a “full investigation” into the incident
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for the Catholic Church to change its stance on Indian residential schools and “take responsibility” after 215 bodies were found in a boarding school for Native Americans more than 40 years ago.
Trudeau said he was “disappointed with the position of the Catholic Church” in this regard and demanded that the institution reveal the truth, reports the Canadian newspaper “The Globe and Mail”.
“The truth is at the center of understanding our past and avoiding further harm in the future,” said the prime minister, who stressed the need to “have the truth” before beginning “justice, healing and reconciliation” speak. .
Last week, an investigation discovered the remains of 215 minors in a mass grave of a Canadian school that closed in 1978 and built to facilitate indigenous integration, the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia.
The find was announced by the chief of the Indian tribe Tk’emlups te Secwepemc. “As far as we know, these missing children are undocumented deaths. Some were only three years old,” said the leader of the Kamloops community, Rosanne Casimir, to the British broadcaster BBC.
These types of schools were created in the 19th and 20th centuries to forcibly assimilate young Indians, and were state funded and run by religious organizations.
For example, Trudeau complained that there was still resistance from the Catholic Church to accept their role in the legacy of these types of schools and encouraged Canadian citizens to contact their parishes, bishops and cardinals to let them know that “Von the church is expected to move forward and take responsibility for its role and be there to help with grief and healing, including with records. “
For decades, thousands of children were separated from their families and placed in boarding schools, where they had to learn the traditions of the European colonial rulers in order to forget their own culture.
UN REQUIRED INVESTIGATIONS
The UN, for its part, on Friday demanded that the relevant authorities “investigate the circumstances and responsibilities relating to these deaths”, including forensic examinations of the remains and that the “identification and registration of children be carried out”. .
“The judiciary must conduct criminal investigations into all suspicious deaths and charges of torture and sexual violence against children in boarding schools, and prosecute and punish perpetrators and accomplices who may still be alive,” these experts said in a statement .
In this sense, the panel has classified it as “inconceivable” that both Canada and the Catholic Church leave these “cruel crimes” unaccountable and cleanup responsibility because they are “major human rights violations against children of indigenous communities”.
“The victims and their families have been waiting for justice and reparation for too many years. Accountability, full truth and full reparation must be sought urgently,” said human rights experts.