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(CANADA) Indigenous Tribe Report: Group said on Wednesday a search using ground-penetrating radar has found 182 human remains in unmarked graves at a site near a former Catholic Church-run residential school that housed Indigenous children taken from their families #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.03: The Lower Kootenay Band said in a news release that it began using the technology last year to search the site close to the former St Eugene’s Mission School, which was operated by the Catholic Church from 1912 until the early 1970s.

#AceDailyNews reports that a ‘Canadian Indigenous Group’ says human remains found at former Catholic Church-run residential school and the latest discovery of graves near Cranbrook, British Columbia follows reports of similar findings at two other such church-run schools, one of more than 600 unmarked graves and another of 215 bodies according to our recent reports as attacks on churches have been condemned and statues of Queen Victoria & Queen Elizabeth 11 have been pulled down and destroyed and has prompted calls for national celebrations to be called off.

A third unmarked Indigenous gravesite found in Canada
The latest find is the third over the last few weeks at Canada’s church-run residential schools.(Reuters: Jennifer Gauthier)

Key points:

  • Two other similar discoveries were made at former church-run residential schools in Canada earlier this year
  • The Canadian government has acknowledged that physical and sexual abuse was rampant in these schools
  • Indigenous groups have sought an apology from the Pope, but he has refused

It said the search found the remains in unmarked graves, some about a metre deep.

It’s believed the remains are those of people from the bands of the Ktunaxa nation, which includes the Lower Kootenay Band, and neighbouring First Nation communities.

Chief Jason Louie of the Lower Kootenay Band called the discovery “deeply personal” since he had relatives attend the school.

“Let’s call this for what it is,” Chief Louie told CBC radio in an interview. “It’s a mass murder of Indigenous people.”

“The Nazis were held accountable for their war crimes. I see no difference in locating the priests and nuns and the brothers who are responsible for this mass murder to be held accountable for their part in this attempt of genocide of an Indigenous people,” he said.

Unmarked graves of Indigenous children at Marieval, Canada
The grounds of the former Marieval Indian Residential School, with what are believed to be 751 unmarked graves. (AP: Mark Taylor/The Canadian Press)

From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend state-funded Christian boarding schools in an effort to assimilate them into Canadian society.

Thousands of children died there of disease and other causes, with many never returned to their families.

Nearly three-quarters of the 130 residential schools were run by Roman Catholic missionary congregations, with others operated by the Presbyterian, Anglican and the United Church of Canada, which today is the largest Protestant denomination in the country.

The Canadian government has acknowledged that physical and sexual abuse was rampant in the schools, with students beaten for speaking their native languages.

On Tuesday, it was announced that a group of Indigenous leaders will visit the Vatican later this year to press for a papal apology for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in residential schools.

A tepee and Indigenous groups are seen holding a vigil at the site of the unmarked graves
A vigil near the unmarked graves of the former Marieval Indian Residential School.(AP: Mark Taylor/The Canadian Press)

After the graves were found in Kamloops, the Pope expressed his pain over the discovery and pressed religious and political authorities to shed light on “this sad affair.”

But he didn’t offer the apology sought by First Nations and the Canadian government.

A papal apology was one of 94 recommendations from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but the Canadian bishops’ conference said in 2018 that the Pope could not personally apologise for the residential schools.

Attacks on churches condemned

Since the discovery of unmarked graves at the sites of former residential schools, there have been several fires at churches across Canada.

There has also been some vandalism targeting churches and statues in cities.

On Wednesday, Alberta’s Premier condemned what he called “arson attacks at Christian churches” after a historic parish was destroyed in a fire.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and an Indigenous leader said arson and vandalism targeting churches was not the way to get justice following the discovery of the unmarked graves.

“The destruction of places of worship is unacceptable and it must stop,” Mr Trudeau said. “We must work together to right past wrongs.″

Assembly of First Nations chief Perry Bellegarde said burning churches was not the way to proceed.

“I can understand the frustration, the anger, the hurt and the pain, there’s no question,″ he said. “But to burn things down is not our way.″

Statues of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II torn down in Canada

4 hours agoWatch: Statue of Queen Victoria toppled in Winnipeg, Canada

A prominent statue of Queen Victoria has been torn down by protesters in Canada as anger grows over the deaths of indigenous children at residential schools.

The protesters cheered as the statue at the legislature in Manitoba’s capital Winnipeg was toppled on Thursday.

A smaller statue of Queen Elizabeth II was also upended nearby.

Local media say police used a stun gun to arrest a man at the scene but the protest was largely peaceful.

The toppling of the statues came on Canada Day, an annual celebration on 1 July that marks the country’s founding by British colonies in 1867.

AP/ABC/BBC/

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: July.03: 2021:

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