In May 2021, the remains of 215 children were discovered at the site of a former residential school in British Columbia. Many have since been found at the sites of other former residential schools. The bodies discovered are those of Indigenous children who were forced to attend Canada’s residential school system. The system was intentionally designed to erase Indigenous peoples, languages, laws, and cultures throughout Canada.
In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission characterized the residential school system as cultural genocide. In 2019, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls found that Canada bears responsibility for a race-based genocide of Indigenous Peoples that especially targets women, girls, and gender diverse people. Despite these findings, today there has been no real accountability for the role of the government or the church in creating, legalizing, enforcing, and sustaining this “school” system. Please join our experts as they discuss how Canada’s residential school system should be addressed and how those responsible can be held accountable.
Darcy Lindberg, Professor, University of Victoria, Faculty of Law
Heidi Matthews, Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School
Valarie Waboose, Professor, University of Windsor, Faculty of Law
Moderator: Jeff Hewitt, Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School