September 28, 2021

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Canada will allocate $ 256 million to mitigate the impact of graves found in boarding schools for tribal children | International

Some hug in front of the memorial to commemorate the children of the Kamloops Boarding School.Cole Burston / AFP

Within three months, Canada Had to deal with the discovery of unidentified graves on more than 1,200 acres of land Four former boarding schools for tribal children. This Tuesday, the federal government announced a package of support for this national tragedy. In total, Ottawa will spend C $ 321 million (approximately US $ 256 million) on various initiatives. Indigenous Services Minister Mark Miller told a news conference that the amount was “a reflection of various demands received across the country.”

Miller noted that about $ 100 million will be used over the next two years to demolish or replace the buildings that house these centers, depending on what the tribal communities decide to do. Between 1883 and 1996, a network of 139 boarding schools operated in Canada. Its funding came Central government, When its administration was in charge of religious groups (70% Catholic). The central purpose of these organizations is to forcibly integrate about 150,000 tribal children into the dominant culture. Miller said $ 107 million has been invested in mental health and cultural development programs to support communities.

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Various experts estimate that more than 6,000 children have lost their lives in boarding schools. Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Relations with Indigenous Peoples, said $ 83 million would be added to the search and identification of unmarked graves. Bennett said the federal government would form a panel of experts in archeology, forensic medicine, pathology and mental health. In addition, a memorial will be built in Ottawa to honor the survivors and children at these centers. The work will cost $ 20 million.

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Justice Minister David Lametti said the federal government would appoint a special speaker to work with tribal communities and provincial officials on the internship issue. Various voices from the opposition and civil society groups called on Lametti to launch a national inquiry into the crimes at these centers. Management by Joe Biden Announced in June. However, Minister Lametti said that “unfortunately, Canada does not currently have the necessary legal tools to deal with the problems discovered in recent months.”

In terms of search and identification work, the federal government has already made $ 27 million available, providing a total of $ 110 million, up from $ 83 million announced on Tuesday. The governments of British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario have also provided $ 30 million. However, it is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. Experts pointed to the newspaper Globe and Mail Invoices can reach $ 1,000 million if you inquire at each of these centers.

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Rose Anne Archibald, Speaker of Canada’s first legislature (representing 634 tribal leaders across the country), told a news conference that she welcomed the government’s commitment, even if the aid package was delayed. “Indigenous communities know the truth. We shared this fact. We fought to hear this fact. There must be truth before reconciliation,” Archibald said.

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