© Reuters. A defaced statue of Queen Victoria lies after being toppled throughout a rally, following the invention of the stays of a whole lot of youngsters at former indigenous residential faculties, exterior the provincial legislature on Canada Day in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Ca
WINNIPEG, Canada (Reuters) – Protesters have toppled statues of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II within the Canadian metropolis of Winnipeg as anger grows over the invention of the stays of a whole lot of youngsters in unmarked graves at former indigenous faculties.
A crowd chanted “no delight in genocide” earlier than knocking down the statues of the monarchs.
The motion came about on Canada Day on Thursday, when historically celebrations happen throughout the nation.
Nevertheless, many cities scrapped occasions this yr because the scandal over the indigenous youngsters made Canadians confront their colonial historical past. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned the day can be “a time for reflection”.
Virtually 1,000 unmarked graves have been discovered at former residential faculties in British Columbia and Saskatchewan that had been primarily run by the Catholic Church and funded by the federal government.
For 165 years and as not too long ago as 1996, the colleges forcibly separated indigenous youngsters from their households, subjecting them to malnourishment and bodily and sexual abuse in what the Fact and Reconciliation Fee referred to as “cultural genocide” in 2015.
In Winnipeg, a crowd cheered as Queen Victoria’s statue fell exterior the Manitoba provincial legislature. Protesters, lots of whom wore orange clothes, additionally kicked the toppled statue and danced round it. The pedestal and statue had been daubed in purple paint hand marks.
A close-by statue of Queen Elizabeth was additionally pulled down. She is Canada’s present head of state, whereas Victoria reigned from 1837 to 1901 when Canada was a part of the British Empire.
Protests in assist of the indigenous youngsters additionally came about on Thursday in Toronto, Canada’s monetary hub, whereas a #CancelCanadaDay march within the capital Ottawa drew hundreds in assist of victims and survivors of the residential college system.
Vigils and rallies had been held throughout different elements of the nation. Many individuals wore orange clothes, which has develop into the image of the motion.
In his Canada Day message, Trudeau mentioned the discoveries of the stays of the youngsters on the former faculties “have rightfully pressed us to mirror on our nation’s historic failures”. Injustices nonetheless exist for indigenous peoples and plenty of others in Canada, he mentioned.
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