The recovery of mass and unmarked graves at former Indian residential school sites in recent weeks has released a deluge of outrage and grief across the settler colony known as Canada. Horrifying truths are being unearthed that reveal the treachery by which Canadian governments, churches and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) originally stole — and continue to steal — Indigenous lands. I say recoveries because these are not new discoveries; this particular form of genocide unleashed against Indigenous children has been aggressively instituted and actively concealed by Canadian governments, churches and the RCMP since 1831, when the first residential school was established in Brantford, Ontario. Genocide here is defined both as murders of children and criminal acts of negligence and mistreatment that caused deaths that could have been prevented if authorities had acted on the concerns that were repeatedly brought to government. The high death rates, inhospitable conditions and preventable causes of death were known.
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