Thousands of Canadians marched on Sunday calling for action after the discovery of hundreds of children’s remains at a Catholic residential school for indigenous students in May. Demonstrators chanted and played drums in cities like Toronto. Some dressed in indigenous clothing.
The remains of over 200 indigenous children were found at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia in May.
Although the school closed in 1978, it was part of a system that forcibly separated indigenous children from their homes.
One protester was a former student at the Kamloops school.
“We have to call on the government, but also our allies and our settlers on this land need to educate themselves on the history of Canada. That’s why we stand together today for this message. To bring back our ancestors that are buried.”
Most residential schools were run by the Catholic Church on behalf of the government.
Although on Sunday Pope Francis said he was pained by the news and called for the respect of Native peoples, he stopped short of a direct apology that some Canadians have called for.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier this weekend that the Catholic church must take responsibility for its role.