In Canada, the statue of Queen Victoria was pulled down on July 1st, Canada Day, the day that marks the country's confederation, reports the Guardian. The figure of Queen Victoria was also torn down, and both the incidents are reportedly out of public rage since unmarked graves of indigenous children were found in residential schools in the country. Both the vandalised figures were representatives of the country's colonial history.
The group who pulled down Victoria's statue wore orange shirts to honour the indigenous children, covered the figure with handprints and left a message, "We were children too. Bring them home."
The shocking discovery of human remains in graves from old sites of residential schools has incited burning resentment among people in Canada. The indigenous community in the country has called for stopping Canada Day celebrations, usually celebrated with picnics, fireworks and downtown parties. Idle No More, a group supporting indigenous people, called for nationwide rallies and said they would not celebrate stolen indigenous land and lives but honour those who lost lives to the Canadian state. Thousands gathered in the capital city, Ottawa, demanding the cancellation of Canada Day.
Police informed that ten churches were vandalised in Calgary, and marks, handprints and orange paint, suggesting protest against the discovery of graves, were found all over them. The protesters are reportedly targeting historical figures related to the organisation and running of the notorious residential schools in the country. Last month, a statue of Egerton Ryerson, founder of the residential school system, was torn down in Toronto.
However, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said that the discovery of the graves had reflected their country's historical failures and the injustice indigenous people of Canada continue to face.
Over a century, more than 1.5 lakh indigenous children were taken by the government from their families to assimilate them into Canadian society. As part of a series of discoveries, 182 unmarked graves with human remains were found on Thursday.