Remains of 215 Indigenous Children Found at Canadian Residential School & Global News

by Debra Brown

Indigenous children

Each Wednesday, All the Pretty Birds recaps the most important headlines from our global community to keep you up to speed on world news. This week we’ve included coverage of the indigenous children’s remains found at school in Canada, along with updates about voting laws in the U.S. 


Remains of 215 Indigenous Children Found at Canadian Residential School

Preliminary findings from a survey of the grounds at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School have uncovered the remains of 215 children buried at the site, the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation said.

In a statement, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc said it hired a specialist in ground-penetrating radar to carry out the work, and that its Language and Culture Department oversaw the project to ensure it was done in a culturally appropriate and respectful way.

Between 1831 and 1996, Canada’s residential school system forcibly separated more than 150,000 First Nations children from their families as part of a program to assimilate them into Canadian society. They were subjected to abuse, malnutrition and rape in what the Truth and Reconciliation Commission tasked with investigating the system called “cultural genocide” in 2015. They were forced to convert to Christianity and not allowed to speak their native languages.

Indigenous leaders have cited that legacy of abuse and isolation as the root cause of epidemic rates of alcoholism and drug addiction on reservations.

The NCTR estimates about 4,100 children died at the schools, based on death records, but has said the true total is likely much higher. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission said large numbers of Indigenous children who were forcibly sent to residential schools never returned home.

Indigenous groups in Canada are calling for a nationwide search for unmarked graves at residential school sites after the discovery of the remains.

A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. Access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866 925-4419.


The Fight for Voting Rights in the U.S.

Texas Democratic Lawmakers Stage Walkout Against Sweeping GOP Voter Suppression Bill

In Texas, Democratic lawmakers staged a dramatic walkout to prevent the Republican-controlled Legislature from passing a sweeping bill to rewrite election laws in Texas. Critics say the bill will lead to mass voter suppression, especially of Black and Latino voters, by eliminating drive-thru and 24-hour voting, as well as ballot drop boxes.

The Republican bill would also make it easier for elections to be overturned even if there is no evidence of fraud. Just before the state’s legislative session ended, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan announced the bill had failed because there were no longer enough lawmakers present to reach a quorum.

Voting laws

Democratic Republic of Congo Hit With 92 Earthquakes After Volcano Eruption

Seismologists in the Democratic Republic of Congo reported 92 earthquakes in a 48-hour period around the Mount Nyiragongo volcano, which had erupted, warning residents to keep well away from lava flows.

Around 400,000 people need support or protection after fleeing a volcano eruption and a wave of aftershocks in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Nations said. Officials warned of a second eruption. The first explosion killed at least 31 people.

The area has experienced a series of earthquakes and tremors, some felt as far away as the Rwandan capital of Kigali, more than 100 km from the volcano in the Virunga National Park.


Florida Governor Bans Transgender Women and Girls from School Sports

Florida’s Republican governor signed a bill barring transgender girls and women from playing on girls sports teams at public schools. Florida is now the ninth state to pass legislation preventing trans females from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity.

The NCAA, which oversees college athletics, has threatened to relocate key games from states that discriminate against certain athletes. When the Florida Legislature was considering the measure in April, the NCAA said it would commit championship games to “locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination.”

High-profile athletic events, such as football bowl games and basketball tournaments, generate millions of dollars for local communities.

LGBTQ advocates said the law is plainly discriminatory and will be challenged in court as unconstitutional.


President Biden Grants 100K Haitians Chance for Temporary Protected Status After Record Deportations

The Biden administration is granting more than 100,000 Haitians in the United States the chance to gain temporary protected status, or TPS, which includes work permits and protection from deportation while Haiti suffers a political crisis.

Haitian President Jovenel Moïse continues to refuse calls to step down, even as human rights groups report he has sanctioned attacks against civilians in impoverished neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince, with targeted assassinations and threats against government critics carried out with impunity.

President Joe Biden deported more Haitians during his first two months than Donald Trump did in the last year of his presidency.


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