After the remains of aboriginal children were found in a former boarding school, UN human rights experts called on Canada and the Catholic Church to conduct a thorough investigation because the Canadian Prime Minister criticized the church for ignoring past crimes.
A mass grave with 215 indigenous children buried Find Last month at the Kamloops Boarding School in British Columbia, which operated from 1890 to 1978 under the patronage of the Catholic Church and later the Canadian government.
“We urge the authorities to conduct a full investigation of the circumstances and responsibilities of these deaths, including conducting forensic examinations of the remains found, and proceeding to identify and register missing children,” nine UN human rights experts said in a statement. Statement on Friday.
They called on the Canadian government to take action Similar investigation Access to all previous boarding schools in the country, which are designed to forcibly assimilate indigenous children.
They said that according to the statement, criminal investigations should also be launched on all allegations of suspicious deaths and allegations of torture and sexual violence against school children.
The UN expert stated that the perpetrators and concealers who may still be alive should be prosecuted and sanctioned, adding that it is “unthinkable” that Canada and the Vatican will leave this “heinous crime” unaccounted for and unredressed. .
Trudeau blows up the church
On Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged the Catholic Church to “take responsibility” and release records about indigenous boarding schools under its guidance.
He warned that if the church fails to comply, his government is prepared to take “stronger measures,” which may include legal action to obtain documents requested by the victims’ families.
Trudeau said at a press conference: “As a Catholic, I am deeply disappointed by the position the Catholic Church has taken now and over the years.”
He recalled a trip to the Vatican in May 2017, during which he sought a formal apology from Pope Francis for the abuse of students and obtained church records to help explain more than 4,100 students believed to have died of illness or malnutrition .
“We still see resistance from the church,” Trudeau said.
When asked whether the government will enforce disclosure, the prime minister replied: “I think we will take stronger measures if necessary.”
But he added: “Before we have to start taking the Catholic Church to court, I very much hope that religious leaders will understand that this is something they need to participate in.”
Attorney and member of Anishinaabe Nation Danielle Morrison told Al Jazeera that the Canadian government is expected to take action against the church at this time.
She said there have been calls for decades to force the Roman Catholic Church to disclose its files and to identify and convict any living suspects of crimes against indigenous peoples.
“At this point, given the fact that the whole world is paying attention, they [the government] There is really no choice but to take legal action or condemn the Catholic Church,” she added.
Canada was shocked by the remains found in the school, especially since the official record there was only 50 deaths.
This school is one of many boarding schools established a century ago to forcibly assimilate the indigenous people of the country.
The church should be “strengthened”
Trudeau urged Canadian Catholics “to extend a helping hand to (their) local diocese, bishops and cardinals, and made it clear that we hope the church will strengthen and assume its role in this regard, and help the grieving and victims there. Heal, including records.”
“This is something that many other churches…have already done. This is something we all are still waiting for the Catholic Church to do,” he said.
“We need to understand the truth before we can talk about justice, healing and reconciliation.”
A total of approximately 150,000 Aboriginal, Inuit and Metis children are enrolled in 139 boarding schools in Canada, where students are physically and sexually abused by principals and teachers, depriving them of their culture and language.
These experiences are now attributed to the high incidence of poverty, alcoholism and domestic violence, and high suicide rates in indigenous communities.
In Kamloops, Tk’emlups te Secwepemc chief Rosanne Casimir (Rosanne Casimir) helped determine the student’s body and cause of death with the help of a British Columbia coroner. He told reporters that the tribe never received Go through any school of records from the sacrifice of the Immaculate Conception.
“We do hope that the church apologize,” she said, “a public apology is not only for us, but also for the whole world… let the church take responsibility.”