'This is a country built on genocide': Canadians appalled by 751 unmarked graves discovered at former Saskatchewan residential school
Cowessess First Nation has confirmed that 751 unmarked graves have been found on the grounds of the former Saskatchewan Marieval Indian Residential School.
"We are not asking for pity but we are asking for understanding," Chief Cadmus Delorme said at a press conference on Thursday. "We need time to heal and this country must stand by us."
The truth is there... Once truth is given and told and accepted then reconciliation will prevail.Chief Cadmus Delorme
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Chief Bobby Cameron called this a "crime against humanity" and "an assault on First Nation people."
"The only crime we ever committed as children was being born Indigenous," Chief Cameron said. "The world is watching Canada as we unearth the finding of genocide."
"We had concentration camps here, we had them here in Canada, in Saskatchewan, they were called Indian residential schools. Canada will be known as the nation who tried to exterminate the First Nations. Now we have evidence."
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"The findings in Marieval and Kamloops are part of a larger tragedy," a statement from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reads.
"They are a shameful reminder of the systemic racism, discrimination, and injustice that Indigenous peoples have faced – and continue to face – in this country. And together, we must acknowledge this truth, learn from our past, and walk the shared path of reconciliation, so we can build a better future."
Following the announcement of this discovery, people, both in Canada and internationally, took to social media to respond to the news.
My heart is with all those impacted by the latest discovery on the grounds of the Marieval Indian Residential School. While we have known that these little ones were surely buried on the grounds of the schools, each discovery brings more pain and trauma. https://t.co/45gQUuDhmN
— Alvin Fiddler (@gcfiddler) June 24, 2021
My mother went to Residential school in Saskatchewan. Her experience was devastating, and all her children were deeply affected by generational trauma…but she survived.
💔for these children and their families😭 https://t.co/6rAZEB94VZ
— Nakuset S (@NakusetS) June 23, 2021
The remains of 761 Indigenous children found at site of former school in Saskatchewan.
Weeks ago remains of 215 children found in unmarked graves at boarding school in British Columbia.
For 113 years. Canada took Indigenous children from their families https://t.co/y6ziqUYAJu
— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) June 24, 2021
SEVEN. HUNDRED. FIFTY. ONE.
751 unmarked graves have been found at a former residential school by the Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan.
The next time someone tells you "This isn't Canada", tell them it is.
This is a country built on genocide.
— Naheed Dosani (@NaheedD) June 24, 2021
Finding the unmarked graves of 600+ children AFTER just finding the unmarked graves of 215 children, would stop any nation in its tracks.
Canada however, has mastered fake outrage.
— Ahmed Ali (@MrAhmednurAli) June 24, 2021
This is a horrific truth that is a part of all of our histories here in North America. I belong to a family that was plagued by Residential Schools aka Indian Boarding Schools aka genocidal PRISONS for Indigenous children. Please read. https://t.co/VP4VdIZH83
— Sera-Lys McArthur (@SeraLysMcArthur) June 24, 2021
I'm not sure people outside of Canada (or even a lot of us in it) know what happened at the residential schools. It was abuse, rape, murder, and genocide Canada committed.
751 unmarked graves were found at a *single* school today.https://t.co/M2D1p6Zj9Ohttps://t.co/HF4czYjc9Y
— Ryan North (@ryanqnorth) June 24, 2021
There also continue to be calls to cancel Canada Day after the discovery of the unmarked graves in Saskatchewan and the remains of 215 children found at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School last month.
What kind of monsters would celebrate Canada day this year? https://t.co/WBV9tFDYwW
— Terrill Tailfeathers (@Terrilltf) June 23, 2021
That political leaders like Erin O'Toole are stanning for nationalistic Canada Day celebrations while Indigenous communities are announcing the discovery of more mass graves tells you all you need to know about where Canada is at with reconciliation.
— Sean Carleton (@SeanCarleton) June 23, 2021
Shock. Grief. How many more will yet be found, unearthing a legacy of the darkest inhumanity? I don't know how I can or will "celebrate" Canada Day this year. Do we really know what #FirstNations means?https://t.co/PY8qwrUZkX
— Abdu Sharkawy (@SharkawyMD) June 24, 2021
Haven’t celebrated Canada Day in some time and I don’t think I ever will again. There’s a national reckoning that’s sorely needed, a time for us to see how we can truly own our past and present so we can live up to the lofty things we say about ourselves.
— Christopher Curtis 🏳️🌈 (@titocurtis) June 24, 2021
God Almighty. The only way we can observe “Canada Day” this year is with lament, grief, and honour for these souls. If you are descended from settlers, add repentance and reparations to that. https://t.co/0Mayodz6lP
— Sarah Bessey (@sarahbessey) June 24, 2021
The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) is available for anyone experiencing pain or distress invoked by recalling residential school trauma.