Queens’ statues toppled, churches vandalised as indigenous children protests escalate

Statues have been toppled, and at least 11 churches vandalised in Canadian protests over the historical treatment of indigenous people.

Tensions boiled over after the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves in residential schools. The graves are thought to belong to indigenous Canadians.

A statue of Queen Victoria was toppled during protests in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Thursday, before it was beheaded. The head was then thrown into the Assiniboine River.

Queen Elizabeth’s statue was also toppled.

The vandalism at the churches included spattered paint over a statue of Jesus Christ, painted handprints on doors and text reading “Charge the priests” and “Our lives matter.”

The protests come amid allegations about abuses in the country’s residential school system, which saw at least 150,000 children forced into institutions under Queen Victoria’s rule.

Britons have lashed out following the protest with many arguing the Queen is not “responsible” for the actions which happened “so long ago”.

“There is no excuse for this sort of behaviour, and it doesn’t set a good example.”

Someone else said: “They are behaving like uncivilized barbaric animals!

“I am in shock…did not expect this kind of behaviour from Canadians.

On Twitter on Thursday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney called the vandalism “appalling.”

“This is where hatred based on collective guilt for historic injustices leads us. Let’s seek unity, respect and reconciliation instead,” he said.

Similar acts of vandalism have been documented elsewhere in Canada, including in Edmonton and Saskatoon.

‘I know that the Catholic church leadership is looking and very actively engaged in what next steps can be taken.’

Calgary police are investigating after at least 11 city Catholic churches were vandalised.

Indigenous groups say they have now identified more than 1,100 graves, mostly belonging to young people who attended residential schools.

Up to 6,000 are thought to have died in the schools, mainly in British Columbia and Saskatchewan. The schools were controlled mainly by the Catholic community.

The Catholic Church is yet to make a formal apology for the way indigenous children were treated. However, Pope Francis has scheduled to meet Indigenous survivors who attended the controversial schools at the end of the year.

In a statement on Tuesday,  the Bishops of Canada said that a delegation of Indigenous People is scheduled to meet with the Holy Father from 17 to 20 December 2021, “to foster meaningful encounters of dialogue and healing.”


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