‘It is time for the Catholic Church to take responsibility’ | Children’s Rights News

Warning: The story below contains details of child abuse

Montreal, Canada- Gerry Shingoose went to deliver the message.

But the 63-year-old said that on Friday she had to wait more than 10 hours to meet with Archbishop Richard Gagnon at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Winnipeg, central Canada.

Together with other boarding school survivors, she earlier posted 215 orange ribbons on the gates around the Roman Catholic Church to commemorate 215 Indigenous children Their remains were found in the former Kamloops Indian Boarding School In British Columbia.

Shingoose stated that she was willing to wait all night to make a request to the Catholic Church: Terrible abuse For decades, church-run boarding schools across Canada have committed crimes against indigenous children.

“I told him that this is a good time for the Catholic Church to recognize and assume responsibility and accountability,” Shingoose, who has lived in a boarding school in Saskatchewan for nine years, told Al Jazeera.

“I am seeking justice for 215 children and children who have not yet been found. I am seeking justice for survivors of boarding school,” she said in a telephone interview. “As survivors of boarding school, we share our stories over and over again-the Catholic Church never admits them or admits what they did to us in school.”

Kamloops Discovery

Shingoose’s meeting was at Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation said it has Remains found After conducting a ground penetrating radar search, there were 215 indigenous children on the grounds of the Kamloops boarding school. Some children are only three years old.

This discovery in the western provinces of Canada caused Pain and new trauma For the aborigines across the country, especially the survivors of boarding schools, their families and their communities.

Gerry Shingoose was forced to attend a boarding school for nine years [Courtesy Gerry Shingoose]

The Canadian government and the Catholic Church that runs most schools Faced with installation pressure Admit all the crimes committed in these institutions, help the indigenous people discover other large-scale cemeteries, and pay compensation.

Between the 1870s and the 1990s, more than 150,000 Aboriginal, Métis and Inuit children were separated from their families and forced to attend boarding schools in order to integrate them into Canadian society.

These institutions are Abuse of power It is believed that more than 4,000 children died there, most of which were diseases, which spread rapidly in overcrowded and unsafe buildings.

Aboriginal community leaders stated that there is no doubt that There are more unmarked graves.

United Nations experts also urged Canada and the Catholic Church to conduct a “swift and thorough” investigation of the deaths, including forensic examinations of the remains, and efforts to identify and register missing children.

“The judiciary should conduct criminal investigations of all suspicious deaths in boarding schools and allegations of torture and sexual violence against children, and prosecute and sanction perpetrators and concealers who may still be alive,” they added. Say.

‘Horrible abuse’

Shingoose is a member of the bear tribe in the Tootinaowaziibeeng Treaty Reserve in western Manitoba. From 1962 to 1971, he attended Muscowequan boarding school in neighboring Saskatchewan. Muscowequan First Nation has identified at least 35 graves in the boarding school, CTV News recently Report, The leader believes that the site may have more.

“I experienced nine years of terrible abuse at school: emotional, mental, physical, and sexual,” Shingoose said. She told Al Jazeera that in addition to Pope Francis’s apology, she also wanted to see the abusers and the Catholic Church. The allegations of public release of all records about the boarding school.

Gagnon, the Archbishop of Winnipeg and the chairman of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Canada, Say In a statement on May 31, “The most recent news [in Kamloops] Shocking”.

“It has rekindled the wounds of many communities on this land. Respecting the dignity of lost children requires the truth to be revealed,” he said. The statement did not apologize or acknowledge the role of the church in the abuse of boarding schools.

But Shingoose said that her meeting with the archbishop made her feel that she was not being listened to or taken seriously. “It sounds almost rehearsed,” she said. “It doesn’t make any sense. I didn’t get any real feelings or any inner (feeling) feelings from him.”

No apology

For many years, Aboriginal people have been urging churches that open Canadian boarding schools with the full support of the federal government to recognize their role in the systematic abuse that occurs. But while other Christian denominations have apologized in the past few decades, the Catholic leadership has not.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) concluded in 2015 that the boarding school system constituted a “cultural genocide” and urged the Pope to publicly apologize to survivors, their families and communities on Canadian territory.

After 2018 Formal request From Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the church said that Pope Francis would not meet this requirement. Trudeau said at the time that he was “disappointed” by the decision, but promised to continue to urge the Pope to apologize.Trudeau Reiterate On Friday, I once again called on the church to apologize and release all records related to the school.

On Sunday, Pope Francis Expressing “pain” to the discovery In Kamloops-but again did not provide the long-awaited apology.

People attend a commemorative event in front of the former Kamloops Indian Boarding School in Kamloops, British Columbia, on May 31 [Dennis Owen/Reuters]

Catherine Mahoney, a professor of law at the University of Calgary, told Al Jazeera that the Canadian government and churches should work with indigenous people to discover other large-scale cemeteries across the country, in addition to handing over their records to facilitate those searches.

“The church has an impeccable record, and we know this. The Catholic Church keeps an impeccable record-you can find what they ate at lunch in 1918, if you look through the diaries of the nuns… the Catholic church still Not handing over all the records, this is a problem.”

The Tribute to the Missionaries of Immaculate Conception, who runs the Kamloops Boarding School, tell The Canadian News Agency said this week that it was “committed to doing more” to provide its records. The order said: “We will work hard to draw daily records of the Oblate community called Codex Historicus and provide them in a more accessible format.”

‘True History’

Trudeau and several federal government ministers have stated in recent days that they remain committed to supporting indigenous communities in finding missing children. Ottawa also stated that its 2019 budget provided 28 million Canadian dollars (33.8 million Canadian dollars) over three years to address TRC’s appeal for school deaths.

But the government is also facing calls Take actual action Address the remaining issues of boarding schools, including continued discrimination against Aboriginal children across Canada-and implement a call to action.

According to data from the Yellow Sea Research Institute, a research center led by aboriginal people, so far, only 8 of the 94 recommendations issued by the TRC five years ago have been completed-after a long hearing, the boarding school survivors shared them Experience.

At the same time, returning to Winnipeg, Shingoose said she would continue to advocate on behalf of other boarding school survivors and all children who have never returned home.

She told Al Jazeera: “The children buried in school and on campus have no say, so I am a survivor of the boarding school. I speak for them.” She added that she also shared her truth for her three. Children, eight grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

“Canada needs to know the truth. They need to know our true history and what happened to our indigenous children in boarding schools.”

The Indian boarding school survivor and family crisis hotline in Canada is available 24 hours a day at 1-866-925-4419.

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