Shocking the entire nation, 215 native children were found in a grave in Kamloops last May 28th. The dead bodies were found by an expert with a radar. No one knows the reason for their death right now, but everybody is certainly really heartbroken about this news.
The first boarding school was opened in 1831 in Canada. These religious institutions were made to assimilate natives Americans. The children were taught catholicism and how to become a ‘’real Canadian’’. They were obligated to leave behind them all their family, roots and beliefs. Nobody ever really cared about their living conditions, they were seen as nothing else than not educated people.
These boarding schools left an enormous impact on them. So many family’s kids were taken away from them. So many families were broken because of these places. In Canada, 130 boarding schools were opened between 1831 and 1996. The last one closed was in Saskatchewan, in 1996. Around 150 000 children were stolen from their families to go to these horrible places. Also, studies think that around 6000 children are dead in these boarding schools.
Some awful things happened in these places. One survivor named Richard Kistabish confessed that when someone had a darker skin tone, he was taken baths with bleach, to become whiter. He affirmed that this technique was a psychological method to make them feel like they would adhere to society only if they were white. This is pure racism. These children were forced to hate themselves and their nation. They didn’t have any self-esteem and they were completely isolated. A child is supposed to be living his best life, laughing, playing, not hating himself and his own people.
A law expert named Palema Platmater estimates that what Canada did to these native Americans is cultural genocide. To be indicted with these charges, Canada has to be guilty of one of these five acts sanctioned by the United Nations’s convention. The act has to be committed with the intention of destroying a nationality, an ethnic, a racial, or a religious group. According to Ms. Palmater, Canada is guilty of all five.
This new story is another proof that Canadian’s history is not as beautiful as it looks. These are parts of our history that everybody should be aware of. Even though it’s a real shame for us Canadians, we need to take responsibility and take action.