Canada Pays Billions In Compensation To Indigenous Boarding School Victims – Our Land

The amount, which is equivalent to over NOK 20.5 billion, stems from settlements in lawsuits from 324 different indigenous communities. The money will be placed in an independent, non-commercial fund to “revitalize the education, culture and language of indigenous peoples and support survivors in connecting with their cultural heritage,” said a press release.

From the late 1800s to the 1990s, Canadian authorities forcibly sent some 150,000 native children to 139 different boarding schools. They are primarily run by the Catholic Church and ensure that they lose touch with family, language and culture.

Many suffered sexual and other physical abuse, and it is estimated that thousands died from disease, malnutrition and general neglect. A government-appointed commission labeled the system in 2015 a “cultural genocide”.

In 2021, hundreds of unmarked graves begin to be discovered around the old school building, exposing the legacy of the system. Pope Francis went to Canada last year to apologize for the abuse, a gesture many survivors see as only a small step in the right direction.

– It has taken Canadians far too long to acknowledge their genocide and the collective damage boarding schools have done to our native country. It’s time for Canada to not only recognize this, but change it with us. This settlement is a good first step, said indigenous leader Garry Feschuk in a press release.

Ken Robbins

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