Residential schools: New Democrat MP wants House to talk about genocide

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Boarding Schools: New Democrat MP wants House to talk about genocide

Winnipeg Center MP Leah Gazan

New Democrat MP hopes all her colleagues in the House of Commons will recognize now the federal residential school system as genocide, now that Pope Francis has used that term.

Leah Gazan, who represents Winnipeg Centre, had tried last year to get unanimous consent of the House to pressure the Canadian government to qualify of genocide what took place in the federal Indian residential schools.

His motion referred to the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted in 1948.

This international convention defines genocide as the act of killing members of a group, causing serious harm to their physical or mental integrity, intentionally subjecting them to conditions of life calculated to bring about their total physical destruction. or partial, to impose measures aimed at preventing births or forcibly transferring children to another group.

MP Gazan argued at the time that Canada's residential schools policy met these five criteria, but some MPs said no in the House, so her motion, which required unanimous consent to be put to a vote, did not. #x27;could not be submitted.

Making the experiences of residential school survivors continually debated is another act of violence , said Ms. Gazan in an interview on Tuesday. We must be aware of this.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's final report, released in 2015, already called what happened in residential schools cultural genocide, but some Indigenous leaders have since argued that it should be called genocide. , without the cultural adjective.

During his six-day visit to Canada last week, Pope Francis repeatedly apologized for abuses at federal residential schools. However, it was only on the plane that brought him back to Rome that the pope, questioned on this subject by journalists, spoke of genocide.

When& #x27;When asked why he hadn't uttered the word on Canadian soil, the pope explained that he believed “genocide” was a technical term.

More than 150,000 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children were forced to attend these federally funded institutions operated by different religious congregations for more than a century. The Catholic Church operated the majority of these residential schools in Canada.

Thousands of Indigenous adults who were forcibly sent there while they were children reported constant physical, sexual and emotional abuse, as well as widespread neglect and malnutrition.

The National Center for Truth and Reconciliation maintains a memorial register of young students who died at these residential schools, a toll that now reaches 4,120 children.

As of May 2021, the Tk&#x27 Nation ;emlúps te Secwépemc announced that radar had located in the ground what appeared to be the remains of approximately 200 children buried at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia. Ms. Gazan introduced her motion shortly thereafter, in June 2021.

She indicated on Tuesday that she now plans to introduce a new motion, but is still considering wording, during the summer adjournment in Ottawa.

At the time of the discovery of unmarked graves last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he continued to adhere to the finding of the 2019 Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, which used the term genocide.

The Conservative Leader Acting Candice Bergen had yet to respond Tuesday to a request for comment from The Canadian Press on whether she considers the residential school system to be genocide.

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