Canada's state-funded Christian schools commit ‘cultural genocide’ and sexually abuse aboriginal students, claims new report

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has urged the government to move past apologies and into action

Justin Carissimo
Friday 05 June 2015 03:00 BST

A new report has found that Canadian First Nation children who were forced to attend state-funded Christian schools were sexually and physically abused.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission released a damning 360-page document which claimed that more than 150,000 children were trained to lose their native cultures so they could be integrated into mainstream society, the Associated Press reported.

More than 130 of the state-funded schools operated from the 19th century through to the 1970’s, where students claimed they were beaten for speaking their native languages.

"[The children] were stripped of their self-respect and they were stripped of their identity," Justice Murray Sinclair recently announced. Mr Sinclair condemned the schools calling them the "darkest and most troubling chapters in our collective history."

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was created from a $5 billion settlement between the government, churches and the surviving First Nation students. The commission has urged Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Canadian government to move on from apologising to fixing the devastation they’ve inflicted on hundreds of thousands of students.

The release comes after officials traveled the country for six years listening to testimonies from nearly 7,000 witnesses, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported. Mr Sinclair told the broadcast station that he hopes the report will serve as a reference point for future generations to preserve and uphold aboriginal culture.

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