An Inclusive Litany

8/19/00

Approximately 7,000 lawsuits have been filed against Canada's Catholic, Anglican, and United churches by former Indian pupils of boarding schools that were run by the churches and established at the request of the federal government and leaders of Indian bands.

While some lawsuits allege sexual and physical abuse, some charge that teaching native children to speak English and adapt to Canadian culture constituted an act of "cultural genocide."

Ottawa has paid a $350 million "healing fund" as a contribution to a settlement, but Indian Affairs Minister Jane Stewart said that the churches must also "feel some pain."

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