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The Truth About the Indian Residential School Program of the Canadian Government

on Sunday, 01 August 2021. Posted in Historical Events

In early June 2021, a bombshell exploded in Canadian media: the discovery of anonymous graves of 215 children on the grounds of a former First Nations residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia. Immediately, the media joined in accusing the Catholic Church, which was responsible for this residential school at the time, of mistreating indigenous children. On June 4, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau added more fuel to the fire, declaring: "As a Catholic (who is pro-abortion), I am deeply disappointed by the attitude of the Catholic Church," and he demanded apologies, not only from the clergy, bishops, religious communities, but also from Pope Francis himself... Three weeks later, another bomb: it was announced that 750 anonymous graves were discovered during excavations on the site of an ancient Native residential school in Marieval, Saskatchewan.

Social media are on fire, and churches are burnt down. It seems fashionable these days to break sugar on the back of the Church, but the problem with all of this is that it is not mentioned that the authority mainly responsible for this situation is the Canadian government itself, who created these schools and the harsh conditions that indigenous children had to endure from the 1880s until a few years ago, and that it is the Canadian government that should apologize, instead of taking religious communities and the Catholic Church as a scapegoat. It is the Canadian government's Indian Act of 1876 that forced First Nations Peoples to enroll in the Indian Residential School program. For example, Missionary Oblates were firmly opposed to the federal government's Indian Residential Schools project and ended up being forced to take charge of them because their own pre-existing system of schools was cut off from government grants (these Oblate schools were run close to where the Indians lived, in the Indian dialects, and the children remained with their families).

A regularly updated website, titled "The truth about the Indian residential school program of the Canadian government, sheds light on what really happened in these schools, and shows that the truth is quite different from what the mainstream media report. We strongly urge anyone who wants to know the truth about these residential schools to visit this site. Among other things, we learn that tuberculosis epidemics caused the deaths of many children in the years 1910-1920 due to federal financial and medical negligence in state-funded residential schools in Western Canada. Then the federal government refused to pay for the transport of children's bodies to their places of origin; the transport costs were too high. The Catholic Church was not involved in the deaths of young Native people as Justin Trudeau alleges.

The historical circumstances are described in detail in a 1907 report by Dr. Peter H. Bryce, then Chief Medical Inspector for the Federal Department of Internal and Indian Affairs. He wrote a book in 1922 called The Story of a National Crime to publicize the great federal financial and medical negligence in this case. In this book, Dr. Bryce explained that not only his inspections, investigations, reports and recommendations on tuberculosis in Indian Residential Schools were ignored, and then hidden by the federal government, but that he was also actually forced to retire against his will.

For justice to be done for Indigenous peoples (as well as the Catholic Church), it is important to uncover the truth and set the record straight. To do so, you must visit and publicize the site www.veritepensionnat.ca

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