November 25, 2005

Canadian natives win £1bn for 70 years' abuse

The Times

From David Charter in Washington

CANADA announced yesterday that it will pay Can$2 billion (£1 billion) to former pupils of government boarding schools that were set up to “Christianise” the children of native Indians but which are blamed for decades of physical and emotional abuse.

About 80,000 Canadian aborigines will qualify for a share of the biggest pay-out in the country’s history, which marks a fresh attempt by the Government to atone for systematically trying to strip native children of their language and culture over a period of 70 years.

Native leaders said that the money should be just the first step towards redressing a national tragedy that had left generations spiritually bereft and fuelled deep and continuing social problems.

Canada’s 700,000-strong indigenous communities, known as the First Nations, suffer epidemic rates of alcoholism, drug addiction and sexual abuse.

Posted by kshaw at November 25, 2005 07:59 AM