Protesters damage statues – level 3

08-07-2021 07:00

Protesters in Manitoba, Canada, have pulled down the statues of Queen Victoria and Elizabeth II, the two royals who are seen as representative of the country’s colonial history.

The toppling came on Canada Day, an annual celebration on July 1 that marks the country’s founding by British colonies in 1867.

The recent discoveries of unmarked graves at residential schools prompted calls for national celebrations to be called off. The graves belonged to indigenous children who were sent to the country’s notorious residential schools.

More than 150,000 indigenous Canadian children were taken from their families and forced to attend the schools during the 19th and 20th centuries. The goal was to forcibly assimilate them into society. An estimated 6,000 children died while attending these schools, and students were often housed in poorly built and poorly heated facilities.

Governments across Canada canceled celebrations, and statues of figures involved with residential schools were vandalized or removed. The British government condemned the toppling of the statues.

Difficult words: prompt (to make someone do an action), notorious (famous or well known for a bad quality), assimilate (to become or to force to become part of a different group or country), vandalize (to deliberately destroy or damage).

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