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July 16, 2021 26 min

This episode contains accounts of physical and sexual abuse.

The residential school system was devised by the Canadian government under the auspices of education, but very little education took place. Instead, children were taken from their families in order to wipe out Indigenous languages and culture.

In 1959, when Garry Gottfriedson was 5, he was sent to one such school: Kamloops Indian Residential School.

On today’s episode, we hear his story and explore how Indigenous activists have agitated for accountability and redress from the federal government.

Guest: Ian Austen, a correspondent covering Canada for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

  • Two gruesome discoveries of what Indigenous groups say are the remains of hundreds of children have strengthened the groups’ resolve to hold Canada accountable for a long-hidden brutal history.
  • For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

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