Warning: Some of the details in this story may be disturbing to some readers.
Children taken away from their parents
The last few decennia the Roman Catholic Church presented the world with some very worrying newsfacts, babies taken away from their mothers (in Ireland and the East bloc countries, to be sold to the West Europeans), young boys being molested by priest and bishops, and nuns torturing young mothers.
Ireland, Czechia, Slovenia, Honduras, Columbia and other South American countries were not the only ones where children were taken away from their parents.
Obligatory conversion to the Catholic faith
From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 First Nations children were required to attend state-funded Christian schools as part of a program to assimilate them into Canadian society. Not only had they to learn English and were forbidden to speak their own native languages on the school grounds, but they also were forced to convert to Roman Catholicism. Many were beaten and verbally abused, and up to 6,000 are said to have died.
It may be very strange that no priests or nuns when then were at age, coming to see death closing down on them did not find remorse for what they did or did not want to confess. One wonders how those Catholics could find their deeds nothing to worry, when they spoke about hell on the pulpit. For many of those villains it could well be they had not to worry as long as all graves were not found or as long as the remains of children remained hidden under often grassy fields, out of sight, so that they didn’t have to face the horror of this open secret.
Sol Mamakwa, an Indigenous member of the Ontario legislature said:
“It is a great open secret that our children lie on the properties of the former schools,”
Canadian Indian Residential School System
One would think that the Canadian government had some good intentions when at the beginning of the 19th century, Canada established the Canadian Indian Residential School System as an attempt to help aboriginals make the transition from the traditional lifestyle lived for thousands of years to a more alternative, different way of life, with a more European influence and having to come to know another language enabling them to communicate with other Canadians.
Although the intention was to integrate Native Canadians within European-Canadian society, the whole process was far from positive for those families.
Already in 2008 the Canadian government apologised in Parliament and admitted that physical and sexual abuse in the schools was rampant.
Many students recalled being beaten for speaking their native languages. They also lost touch with their parents and customs.
Indigenous leaders have cited that legacy of abuse and isolation as the root cause of epidemic rates of alcoholism and drug addiction on reservations.
Today we come to face the horror that came over those natives. The government seemed not to be wondering about the impact of taking away the children from their ‘heimat’. Thousands were separated from their families and communities. What is worse, is that they were not treated as it should have been.Today it comes to light how the Roman Catholic Church misused the trust wich was given to them. Nuns and priests misused their power to do all sort of things with children which we consider as delinquent. Criminal situations were kept under the mattress for years. Week after week this year we come to hear astonishing things.
Nahanni Fontaine on May 31 made a call on Twitter:
In honour of our little ones found in the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
May this be the beginning of repatriation of all our children who never made it home from Indian Residential Schools all across our territories.
Unbelievable it is that also in Canada priests came up with sayings how many good things they have done and that those ‘few deaths’ are nothing against the marvelous work the Catholic Church has done. Though we should recognise that there has taken place a cultural genocide for the policy of not tolerating any native culture.
After a Mississauga pastor who made comments about the “good that was done” by the Catholic church in residential schools, the Archdiocese of Toronto tweeted that Cardinal Thomas Collins has accepted the resignation of Monsignor Owen Keenan as pastor of Merciful Redeemer Parish and placed him on an indefinite leave of absence.
“We apologize for the pain caused by his recent remarks,”
the archdiocese tweeted.
Keenan came under fire earlier this week after a clip of his sermon talking about Canada’s residential school system was posted online.
“Two-thirds of the country is blaming the church, which we love, for the tragedies that occurred there,”
he said in a clip of the sermon posted to Reddit.
“Now I presume that the same number would thank the church for the good that was done in those schools, but of course, that question was never asked and in fact, we are not allowed to even say that good was done in those schools.”
Big question is how it is possible that so many thousands could be registered as having died of natural causes and that no official enquiries or no official investigations were conducted into the causes of death or disappearance of those many children.
Since the remains of 215 Indigenous children were discovered at a former residential school in British Columbia, many more places of delict and burial grounds have been found.
There have been renewed calls for the Catholic church, which ran the majority of residential schools in the country, to apologize for its role and release all its records pertaining to the schools. But the Catholic Church refuses to make their files public or to hand them over to the investigators. Though you may wonder what would happen if they hand it over. In Belgium ten years after the large-scale investigation into sexual abuse and culpable misconduct in the Church the ‘Operatie Kelk’ (Operation Chalice), , threatens to end with a sizzle. The prosecutor’s office will request the dismissal of all suspects due to statute of limitations. Case closed, is possible the danger that threatens the Canada case, if people let those things unspoken or not discussed enouogh.
It is really to the Canadians to chose colour and to defend the indigenous population.
Canada’s minister of northern affairs says the religious leaders who operated the residential school system in Canada should be held accountable for any crimes committed.
“Of course they need to be charged. This is the sort of thing you read about in another country, you don’t read about this in Canada, but if people are still alive, then we need to do all things necessary to achieve justice, of course we need to bring charges forward,”
said Dan Vandal in an interview on CTV’s Question Period airing Sunday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was in shock when he heard the news and promised to investigate the matter further. Since this year June is the month that should give the opportunity for Canadians to participate in virtual activities to engage with, and deepen their understanding of, Indigenous peoples’ distinct histories, customs, spiritualities, and languages. The prime minister said:
Doing so is essential to promoting a society based on mutual respect, understanding, and fairness. We all need to play a role in amplifying the voices of Indigenous peoples, dismantling systemic racism, inequalities, and discrimination, and walking the path of reconciliation together”
He continued to agree that:
“The recent, distressing news of the remains of 215 children found near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School is a painful reminder that the impacts of residential schools are still felt today. Sadly, this heartbreaking discovery in Kamloops is not an exception or isolated incident. Over decades, thousands of Indigenous children were taken from their families and communities, and everything was stolen from them. We must all unreservedly acknowledge this truth and address these historical and ongoing wrongs, so we can build a better future.”
On National Indigenous Peoples Day prime minister Trudeau sent out this message
Tragic events over the last number of weeks have shone a light on how far we still have to go as a country on our shared journey of reconciliation, and the work we still need to do to eliminate systemic racism from all of our institutions.
The government has been working in partnership with Indigenous peoples to build a renewed relationship, and they know there’s much more work to do.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls have laid out a path forward for all Canadians on our shared journey of reconciliation.
the prime minister said and promised
And we’re working to address the important issues identified in the Calls to Action and the Calls for Justice.
There is unfairness and discrimination in our systems – that’s how they were built.
But we’re committed to listening, to learning, to understanding, and to fixing this situation.
Together, in partnership with Indigenous peoples, we will continue to advance reconciliation and right past wrongs.
On this day, and every other day, let’s acknowledge, learn from, and celebrate how First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples have shaped our past and will continue to shape our future.
We can only hope that it shall not be like what happened with the (non) prosecutions in the United States of America and Belgium and how the Papal institution was kept a hand above its head.
The Catholic Pope has for years defied calls from both the Canadian government and the public to apologise for the central role his church played in running 60 per cent of Canada’s residential schools.
Like they did in other countries only the Catholic church has repeatedly defied calls to apologise, despite offering formal apologies for the “crimes” of the church in Ireland and its “grave sins” in South America. the Pope only said
“I follow with sorrow the news that arrives from Canada about the upsetting discovery of the remains of 215 children.”
“I join with the Catholic church in Canada in expressing closeness to the Canadian people traumatized by the shocking news,”
”This sad discovery increases the awareness of the sorrows and sufferings of the past.“
Indigenous leaders have expressed disappointment and frustration over the pope’s refusal to apologise. Bobby Cameron, chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, said:
“It’s just part of the healing journey.”
“Why can’t the Pope contribute to that healing journey for survivors and their families?”
The Canadian bishops even dare to say that Trudeau’s remarks are unjustified. Cardinal Thomas Collins says the Church has been working continuously toward reconciliation with Indigenous people and invited Ottawa to be a part of those ongoing efforts.
Plans are underway to bring in more forensics experts to identify and repatriate the remains of the children found buried on the Kamloops and other recently found sites.
Mr Trudeau’s government has also pledged to support efforts to find more unmarked graves at the former residential schools.
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