Zack and Jenn talk about the horrifying discovery of the remains of 215 children at a so-called “residential school” in Canada. They talk about the history of these schools, which were a centerpiece of Canada’s long-running effort to wipe out Indigenous culture and identity, and how the discovery of the children’s bodies is forcing a political reckoning with this history among white Canadians. Then they compare how Canada is handling this issue to the way that other countries like the US, Germany, and Japan have dealt with their own histories of atrocity — and how that shapes both politics inside those countries and their relations with other states today.
You can read the final report from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission here or on the Commission’s website, where you can find additional information and resources on the commission and the residential school system, including more about the Missing Children Project.
And here are the 94 “calls to action” from the report, if you want to check those out in particular.
This is the op-ed by Jody Wilson-Raybould that Zack mentioned.
This is the infamous 1892 “Kill the Indian...save the man” speech by Richard Pratt, the US military officer who founded the Indian Industrial School at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, which became a model for similar forced-assimilation schools in the US and Canada.
Here’s more on the lawsuit seeking reparations for the cultural impact of the residential schools, which the Canadian government is currently fighting against.
And here’s more on the Pope’s comments about the discovery at the Kamloops school, which notably do not include an apology for the Catholic church’s role in running that and many of the other residential schools.
Jenn mentioned the “birth alerts” that were only ended in British Columbia in 2019. You can read more about that here.
This is a good article contrasting Germany’s and Japan’s national approaches to reconciling with their past atrocities.
And here’s more about the ongoing tensions between Japan and South Korea over Japan’s wartime use of Korean sex slaves known as “comfort women.”
You can read the full text of the bill apologizing “to all Native Peoples on behalf of the United States,” which President Barack Obama quietly signed into law in 2009, here, and read more about why many were disappointed by it here and here.
And you can read the report from the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth & Reconciliation Commission here.
Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox
Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox
Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), White House reporter, Vox
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