182 graves discovered at Canada’s third residential school, Pope Francis to meet with Indigenous leaders – ThePrint
New Delhi: An Indigenous community in Western Canada found 182 anonymous graves on the grounds of a former residential school near the town of Cranbrook, British Columbia. This is the third such find in the country in just over a month.
The Lower Kootenay Band, a First Nations community, on Wednesday detected the remains, most likely Indigenous children, using ground-penetrating radar at the former St Eugene Mission boarding school.
The residential school system, who operated from the 1880s to the late 1990s, was set up by the Canadian government and administered by Catholic churches to forcibly assimilate Indigenous children into society.
Indigenous leaders have long called for an apology for the role of the Catholic Church in the operation of these residential schools. In response, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) on Wednesday mentionned Pope Francis has agreed to meet them at the Vatican.
In a statement, the CCCB said Pope Francis is “deeply committed to … addressing the impact of colonization and the role of the Church in the residential school system, in the hope of responding to the suffering. indigenous peoples and the continuing effects of intergenerational trauma ”.
In Canada, the term “indigenous peoples” (or indigenous peoples) refers to First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.
Some of the graves found at St Eugene’s Mission Residential School were as shallow as three to four feet.
“The remains of these 182 souls are believed to have come from member bands of the Ktunaxa Nation, neighboring First Nations communities and the Aq’am community,” the Lower Kootenay Band mentionned in a report.
The St Eugene boarding school was based in 1890 and became an industrial school in 1912.
It was Classes by the Catholic Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, who ran 48 other schools. It is a missionary congregation of the Catholic Church, which was launched in 1816 by a French priest called Saint Eugène de Mazenod.
In the past month, two more sites with hundreds of anonymous graves have been unearthed on the grounds of former residential schools.
On June 1, the remains of 215 children were find on the site of what was once one of Canada’s largest residential schools, the Kamloops Indian Residential School.
Later, on June 25, the remains of at least 751 people, mostly Indigenous children, were find on the grounds of the former Marieval Indian Residential School in the Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan.
These two schools were also managed by the Catholic Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
Read also : 215 Children’s Bodies Unearthed in Canada: A Look at Indigenous Peoples, the Residential School System
Pope Francis to meet with indigenous leaders at the Vatican
The residential school system in Canada forcibly separated hundreds of thousands of Indigenous children from their families and assimilated them into Euro-Canadian and Christian ways of life. They were prohibited from recognizing their indigenous heritage and culture or speaking their own language.
The National Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up in 2008 by the Canadian government, collection and compiled the wills of 6,750 witnesses to document the history of Canada’s residential school system for six years, calling it a form of “cultural genocide.”
They also confirmed that these schools were rocked by epidemics and that children would regularly experience sexual, physical and emotional abuse and violence.
Meanwhile, in response to the apologies long sought by Indigenous leaders for the role of the Catholic Church in the operation of these residential schools, CCCB on Wednesday ad that Pope Francis finally agreed to meet them at the Vatican.
It took two years for Canada’s Indigenous community to schedule this meeting with the Pope, who even rejected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s direct request urging him to apologize to the community in 2017.
“The Bishops of Canada are deeply grateful for the openness of the Holy Father in generously inviting them to personal meetings with each of the three distinct groups of delegates – First Nations, Métis and Inuit – as well as a final audience. with all the delegates together on December 20, 2021, ”reads the CBAC statement.
According to the statement, Pope Francis will have personal interactions with three distinct groups of delegates – First Nations, Métis and Inuit – as well as a final audience with all delegates together on December 20, 2021.
Read also : On remembrance day of the slave trade, a look at how the world faced the legacy of slavery and racism
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