On a large placard in one of the damaged churches is the inscribed number 751, referring to 751 unmarked graves discovered at a boarding school in Saskatchewan. In another church the number 215 can be seen, reference to one of the other mass graves.
Canada has been haunted by shocking discoveries in former boarding schools for weeks. Between 1850 and 1970, these boarding schools housed approximately 150,000 Aboriginal children living here forced To assimilate the dominant European culture. Children were subjected to severe physical and mental abuse and many died.
The anger of many indigenous groups is directed against the Canadian government and the Catholic Church. Over the past few weeks a number of churches have gone on fire.
The shocking revelations have raised tension and cast a dark shadow over the Canada Day celebrations. Celebrations have been canceled in various parts of the country and Prime Minister Trudeau said in his annual message that this time was a moment to reflect.
Alberta Premier Kenny visited one of the polluted churches, the African Evangelical Church. He stressed that the entire faith community in this particular church is made up of refugees. “These people fled to Canada in the hope that they could safely practice their faith here. This is where we end up hating on the collective censure of historical injustice.
Police in Calgary respond to the latest graffiti with an understanding of strong feelings, but they maintain that this type of vandalism is illegal and further dividing society. Perpetrators are wanted.
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