Indigenous People Advance a Dramatic Goal
Article

Indigenous People Advance a Dramatic Goal

Reversing Colonialism

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In June 2021, Indigenous Canadians found a grave with the remains of 215 children on the grounds of a shuttered Indian Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia. Canada’s 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Report recounts that such schools were central to Canada’s campaign to wipe out Indigenous culture. More than 50 years ago, as Max Fisher reports in The New York Times, Indigenous leaders launched a global effort to address colonialism’s destructive impact and restore Indigenous people’s sovereignty. Canada’s annual Truth and Reconciliation Day marks this ongoing effort of memory and mission. As Fisher reports, truth and reconciliation are part of a complex, ongoing process.

Summary

Canada’s Indian Residential Schools were central to the government’s “cultural genocide” policy.

In June 2021, a Canadian Indigenous community discovered a mass grave containing 215 children’s remains. This unmarked burial site was on the grounds of a closed and abandoned Indian Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia. The Canadian government had forced Indigenous children to attend such boarding schools as part of longstanding policy to eradicate Indigenous culture and assimilate children into mainstream society. Canada’s 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Report called this policy “cultural genocide.”

More than 50 years ago, Indigenous leaders set out to reverse...

About the Author

Max Fisher, an international reporter and columnist for The New York Times, has reported from five continents on conflict, diplomacy, social change and other topics. 


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