The bishops of the Catholic Church in Canada have apologized to the indigenous population after the discovery last month of more than 1,000 graves near designated boarding schools for indigenous children, according to a statement released Friday.
“We, Catholic Bishops of Canada, express our deepest regret and offer unequivocal apologies,” the note reads.
The bishops acknowledged the “suffering experienced by college students” and the “serious violations committed” by some members of the Catholic community.
From the early 19th century until the 1990s, some 150,000 Amerindian, Mestizo and Inuit children, forcibly separated from their families, language and culture, were placed in 139 of these colleges in all over the country for the infusion of culture.
Many of these children have been abused or sexually abused, e in those schools have killed more than 4,000 people, according to the commission of inquiry, which concluded that what happened was a veritable “cultural genocide”.
In a suspected violent response, more than a dozen churches have been burned down in the past few weeks in across the country, with demonstrators burning the statues of Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Victoria, who was the ruler of Canada when the first boarding schools were opened.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized on behalf of his country on Friday, urging the Pope to do the same, and did not rule out a criminal investigation into the case.
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