Ottawa: The House of Commons on Thursday unanimously passed the bill to describe Canada’s residential schools as genocide.
The resolution was moved in the House of Commons by the NDP MP Leah Gazan representing the Winnipeg Centre. The resolution was unanimously passed by all MPs.
The proposal was moved by Gazan last year, but it did not receive unanimous consent.
“In a place where we have to battle for the rights of Indigenous peoples, MPs let the truth be heard and unanimously passed a motion recognizing what happened at residential schools as a genocide. This is historic. To survivors and descendants, I honour you today and every day,” Gazan said.
The Church ran most of the residential schools in Canada. More than 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were forced to attend these residential schools between the 1870s and 1997.
For more than a century, these schools were funded by the federal government and various churches operated them. Thousands of Indigenous students faced the sexual abuse and were not only neglected, but were also malnourished.
A memorial register has also been set up by The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation for the students who died in these residential schools, according to which the number of students killed here has reached 4,120.