• The Guardian

Canada's Residential Schools Demonstrate a History of Cultural Genocide

September 6, 2021


The Kamloops Indian Residential School in 1937 [Image Source: National Center for Truth and Reconciliation, via EPA, via Shutterstock]

Cited article by Antonio Voce, Leyland Cecco and Chris Michael, The Guardian


HRRC's Response:


As of August 2021, over 1,300 unmarked graves have been identified within five Canadian residential schools. Evidence supports the belief that some of those buried were as young as three years old at the time of their death and subsequent burial. These continual discoveries of these burial sites at Canadian residential schools is demonstrative of cultural genocide.


In this context, cultural genocide refers to the state-sponsored re-education of children as a method to eradicate the culture and languages of the Indigenous population, a practice that was also occurring in the United States during the same time. Further, Canada's 1876 Indian Act restricted Indigenous populations to reservations while children were forcibly removed from their homes and assigned to these residential schools.


HRRC is deeply saddened by these discoveries and staunchly opposes acts that destroy the culture and history of a people. These mass graves of children is beyond the concept of cultural genocide and amounts to internationally-recognized genocidal actions.