Tags: canada | aboriginal | schools | abuse

Reports: Beatings, Abuse Were Rampant in Canada Aboriginal Schools

By    |   Tuesday, 07 Jan 2014 07:39 AM

For more than a century, close to 150,000 aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their families by the Canadian federal government and placed in government-supported, church-run “residential schools.”
 
Many lived in squalid conditions and were subjected to sexual abuse. An Ottawa-established Truth and Reconciliation Commission said recently that at least 4,000 children died in the schools which operated from the 1870s through 1996, al-Jazeera reported Monday.

Kimberly Murray, executive director of the commission, said many students died as a result of tuberculosis and others by suicide. In one 1937 case, four boys who fled a school in British Columbia to escape the abuse were found frozen to death on a lake in subzero temperatures, the Regina Leader-Post reported

The commission, established in 2008,resulted from a lawsuit filed by victims against churches and the Canadian government. Its responsibilities include collecting records, holding public hearings and establishing a research center to document its findings.

Fay Brunning, an attorney, represents close to 60 victims at St. Anne’s Indian Residential School in northern Ontario Province, which opened in the early 1900s and closed in closed in 1976. She believes the Canadian government has concealed police files and other information from the victims and the general public.

"There was such widespread abuse there I think they were afraid of how many claims they would get out of St Anne's,” she told al-Jazeera. “They wanted to make sure they paid as few people as they could."

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is slated to issue its report next year.

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For more than a century, close to 150,000 aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their families by the Canadian federal government and placed in government-supported, church-run “residential schools.”
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Tuesday, 07 Jan 2014 07:39 AM
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