05:52 GMT14 June 2021
Listen Live
    • Girls attend a first communion ceremony at the Spanish Indian Residential School in Spanish, Ontario, Canada in 1955.
    • Children play on swings at the Bishop Horden Memorial School, a residential school in the indigenous Cree community of Moose Factory, Ontario, Canada circa 1940s.
    • Boys receive haircuts at the Shingwauk Indian Residential School in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada circa 1960s.
    • Girls play hopscotch outside the Bishop Horden Memorial School, a residential school in the indigenous Cree community of Moose Factory, Ontario, Canada in 1947.
    • A teacher reads to students at a residential school in Aklavik, Northwest Territories, Canada circa 1950.
    • Boys play table hockey at the Shingwauk Indian Residential School in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada circa 1960s.
    • Senior girl students pose outside the Shingwauk Indian Residential School in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada circa 1960s.
    • Boys pray on bunk beds in a dormitory at the Bishop Horden Memorial School, a residential school in the indigenous Cree community of Moose Factory, Ontario, Canada in 1950.
    • Girls pose during a pageant at the Spanish Indian Residential School in Spanish, Ontario, Canada in 1954.
    • Girls work in the kitchen at the Bishop Horden Memorial School circa 1940.
    • Shinwauk Guides form a circle during the visit of the commissioner to the Shingwauk Indian Residential School in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada circa 1951.
    • Students attending the Shingwauk Indian Residential School use handmade bows in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada in 1960.
    © REUTERS / Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre
    Girls attend a first communion ceremony at the Spanish Indian Residential School in Spanish, Ontario, Canada in 1955.

    In late May, the remains of 215 children were found at the site of a former residential school for indigenous children, who died as a result of what the authorities called "cultural genocide." Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the discovery as "heartbreaking."

    On 28 May, the discovery of the remains of 215 indigenous students from the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia shocked Canada and the world. The bodies were found on land behind the school, which was the country's largest before it closed in 1978. It was run by a Catholic congregation called the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate from 1893 to 1969. 

    According to Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission report released in 2015, roughly 150,000 indigenous children were forcibly assimilated through the residential school system from 1883 to 1998. 

    The report revealed that nearly 3,200 died in these schools, with the majority of deaths happening before 1940. Scores of tuberculosis cases were also recorded in these institutions in the late 19th and early 20th century, with death rates remaining high until the 1950s.

    The commission described the situation as "cultural genocide."

    Tags:
    mass graves, school, indigenous peoples, genocide, Canada
    Community standardsDiscussion

    More photos