2:04 PM PDT, July 2, 2021
Protesters in Canada took down two statues amidst a painful reckoning over the country’s treatment of Indigenous people.
The likenesses of Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria no longer stand in the Canadian city of Winnipeg.
The move comes after shocking discoveries on the sites of several of the country’s so-called “Residential Indian schools.” Found were the bodies of hundreds of Indigenous children.
Canada’s Residential Indian schools operated from the 1870s to 1997. Canada’s government sent children from Indigenous communities to the most Catholic church-run schools. There they were forced to learn English customs, language, and religion.
It has been described as a form of ethnic cleansing.
The schools were founded by a man named Egerton Ryerson, and a statue of him was taken down earlier this year in Toronto.
Canada marked its annual Canada Day on July first. But there were calls across the country to cancel the holiday, using the hashtag #CancelCanadaDay.
Protesters gathered in several cities. They were dressed in orange as the color honors the victims and survivors of the Residential Schools system.