Canada's Trudeau and Britain's Johnson condemn defacement of monarch statues, churches
- The vandalism is likely to be a response the discovery of unmarked graves in Canada
- Trudeau urged all Canadians to commit to reconciliation
- More than 4,000 children died as a result of neglect and disease in Canada's boarding schools
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke out against the defacement and vandalism in the country on Friday as multiple statues of monarchs and churches were spoiled and torn down.
The defacement comes after thousands of unmarked graves were found and unearthed across Canada in lands that once belonged to boarding schools made for indigenous communities.
These acts of vandalism are likely to be a response to the nation's colonial past and the inhumane treatment given to the children of the indigenous communities at these boarding schools.
A statement from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's residence made remarks similar to Trudeau and condemned the acts.
The statement read, "Our thoughts are with Canada's indigenous community following these tragic discoveries (of graves) and we follow these issues closely and continue to engage with the government of Canada with indigenous matters", reported AFP.
"It is unacceptable and wrong that acts of vandalism and arson are being seen across the country, including against Catholic churches," Trudeau told a news conference.
"I understand the anger that's out there, against the federal government, against institutions like the Catholic Church," he said.
"It is real, and it is fully understandable given the shameful history" of Canada's indigenous residential schools, he said.
But instead of wreaking destruction, he urged all Canadians to commit to reconciliation.
Canada's national holiday on Thursday was marked by a grim reckoning over its British colonial past, with several cities cancelling their usual Canada Day celebrations.
Until the 1990s, some 150,000 Indian, Inuit and Metis youngsters were forcibly enrolled in 139 residential schools run by the Catholic church on behalf of the government.
As a result of neglect and disease, more than 4,000 children died.
Others have recounted physical and sexual abuses by headmasters and teachers who stripped them of their culture and language.
The 1904 statue of Queen Victoria, who reigned over this Commonwealth nation when Canada began negotiating treaties with First Nations and opened the first residential schools, was left covered with a Canadian flag with the words in black marker, "We were children."
Belinda Vandenbroeck, a former residential school student, told the Winnipeg Free Press: "This queen is the one that gave our land away just like that to her merry gentlemen -- her fur traders."
"So I really have no place for her in my heart," she said.