During protests over the treatment of Aboriginal children in notorious Canadian boarding schools, protesters turned their anger on images of British royalty.
Canada has been in turmoil since several mass graves of Aboriginal children were found in the old school yards of former Catholic boarding schools. This may be related to four fires in churches. On July 1, a public holiday in the country, a group of protesters gathered around the courthouse in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They took down the statue of England’s Queen Victoria.
The holiday commemorates the union of the various Canadian states under one federation, then part of the British Empire. The British royal family is closely linked to Canada’s colonial past, which also resulted in Aboriginal children being forcibly sent to boarding schools to assimilate them. Many perished, and physical, emotional and even sexual abuse was common. A smaller statue of Queen Elizabeth II has also been removed. There is also a broader call to cancel the holiday.