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Current Affairs

Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Date: 05 October 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

To honour the lost children and survivors of the country’s indigenous residential schools, Canada is marking National Day for Truth and Reconciliation for the first time.

 

Details

  • The holiday is marked in order to educate and remind the citizens of the history of indigenous children and understanding their suffering.

  • The government had asked citizens to wear orange coloured clothing to signify how indigenous children were robbed off their culture and freedoms.

  • Phyllis Webstad, survivor of First Nations residential school had worn the orange colour on the first day of her school. Her clothes were taken and hair cut off.

 

The existence of the day

  • Recently a series of excavations had uncovered unmarked graves belonging to indigenous children who died during their stay in missionary residential schools.

  • Graves of about 215 children were found in Kamloops Indian Residential school from Canada’s British Columbia.

  • This discovery had caused nation-wide demand for identifying more such graves belonging to indigenous children who were exploited during their stay in residential schools.

 

Public outcry

  • Organizations such as Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) had accused the schools of being a government-sponsored cultural genocide.

  • Indigenous children were forced to give up their aboriginal culture and language in the name of assimilating with Europeans.

 

Atrocities in residential schools

  • Indigenous children were separated from their families and they were not allowed to speak their language.

  • The schools were poorly maintained, over-crowded and children were made to undergo regimental schedule.

  • The schools offered only rudimentary skills such as farming and carpentry for boys. Girls were taught sewing, laundry, cooking etc.