Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called out the Catholic Church — again — for refusing to apologize for its part in operating many of the country’s residential schools for indigenous children following the shocking discovery of the remains of 215 students at one former school last month.
“As a Catholic, I am deeply disappointed by the position the Catholic Church has taken now and over the past many years,” Trudeau told the media Friday. “We expect the Church to step up and take responsibility for its role in this.”
More than 150,000 indigenous children were forcibly taken from their homes between 1831 and 1996 and placed in schools where they often suffered abuse, rape and malnutrition. The 2015 report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission called what happened to the children in the schools “cultural genocide.”
The schools were run by the government and churches, mainly Catholic. The stated purpose of the schools was to assimilate the indigenous children.