were forced to attend residential schools in a forced assimilation program. Most of these schools were operated by churches, and all of them banned the use of Indigenous languages and Indigenous cultural practices, often through violence. Disease, as well as sexual, physical and emotional abuse were widespread. An estimated 150,000 children passed through the schools between their opening and their closing in 1996.

  • The Missing Children: A National Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up as part of a government apology and settlement over the schools, concluded that at least 4,100 students died while attending them, many from mistreatment or neglect, others from disease or accident. In many cases, families never learned the fate of their offspring, who are now known as “the missing children.”
  • The Recent Discovery: In May, members of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation found 215 bodies at the Kamloops school — which was operated by the Roman Catholic Church until 1969 — after bringing in ground-penetrating radar.
  • ‘Cultural Genocide’: In a 2015 report, the commission concluded that the system was a form of “cultural genocide.” Murray Sinclair, a former judge and senator who headed the commission, recently said he now believed the number of disappeared children was “well beyond 10,000.”
  • Apologies and Next Steps: The commission called for an apology from the pope for the Roman Catholic church’s role. Pope Francis stopped short of one, but the archbishop of Vancouver apologized on behalf of his archdiocese. Canada has formally apologized and offered financial and other search support, but Indigenous leaders believe the government still has a long way to go.
  • In September 2017, Mr. Trudeau acknowledged the nation’s past “humiliation, neglect and abuse” of Indigenous people, and vowed in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly to improve their lives.

    Pope Francis has still not taken that step. By contrast, the leadership of the United Church of Canada, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, apologized in 1998 for its role in running the schools.

    Since the Kamloops announcement, Chief Cameron said, he has been traveling around the province, where farming and mining are major industries, looking at former school sites.

    “You can see with your plain eye the indent of the ground where these bodies are to be found,” he said in an interview Wednesday night. “These children are sitting there, waiting to be found.”

    Vjosa Isai in Toronto contributed reporting.

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    >>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

    How mercury sneaks into the most vulnerable communities in US and Canada

    1 Dolton-Thornton, Nathaniel. “The Elem Tribe’s Last Stand.” Earth Island Journal, 2019.

    2 “National Lake Fish Tissue Study – Results and Data.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 7 Nov. 2018.

    3 Liu, Guangliang, et al. Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology of Mercury. Wiley, 2012.

    4 Gibson, Shelby. “’My Ears Keep Ringing All the Time’: Mercury Poisoning Among Grassy Narrows First Nation.” Pulitzer Center, 29 July 2019.

    5 Kirkup, Kristy. “Ottawa Pressed to Make Good on Promise to End All Long-Term Drinking-Water Advisories for First Nations.” The Globe and Mail, 1 Mar. 2021.

    6 Mercury in the Environment : Pattern and Process, edited by Michael S. Bank, University of California Press, 2012. ProQuest Ebook Central.

    7 E. C. Merem, J. Wesley, P. Isokpehi, E. Nwagboso, S. Fageir, S. Nichols, M. Crisler, M. Shenge, C. Romorno, G. Hirse, The Growing Issue of Mercury Exposure and the Threats in the African American Community, Frontiers in Science, Vol. 6 No. 1, 2016, pp. 1-16. doi: 10.5923/j.fs.20160601.01.

    8 United States, Congress, National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP), and Peggy Shepard. Fish Consumption and Environmental Justice A Report Developed from the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council Meeting of December 3-6, 2001, EPA, 2002, p. 185.

    9 Janssen, Sarah E., et al. “Examining Historical Mercury Sources in the Saint Louis River Estuary: How Legacy Contamination Influences Biological Mercury Levels in Great Lakes Coastal Regions.” Science of The Total Environment, vol. 779, 2021, p. 146284., doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146284.

    10 Stefanovich, Olivia. “Indigenous Services Minister to Acknowledge Liberals Won’t Meet Promised Drinking Water Targets | CBC News.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 2 Dec. 2020.

    11 “Defining Waters of the United States / Clean Water Rule – Environmental & Energy Law Program.” Harvard Law School, 3 Mar. 2021.

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    Taiwan Court Upholds Laws Restricting Hunting

    TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan’s Constitutional Court on Friday upheld several key provisions of two laws that restrict hunting, in a setback to the island’s Indigenous rights movement.

    Although the court struck down some parts of the laws — including a rule that would require hunters to apply for permits — it declined to overhaul the restrictions altogether, stating that Indigenous hunting culture had to be balanced against the need to protect the environment and wildlife.

    “The Constitution recognizes both the protection of Indigenous peoples’ right to practice their hunting culture and the protection of the environment and ecology,” chief justice Hsu Tzong-li said on Friday. “Both fundamental values are equally important.”

    Conservationists and animal rights activists welcomed the decision. In March, 57 animal rights groups in Taiwan issued a joint statement, arguing that protecting hunting culture was not comparable to guaranteeing the right to hunt freely.

    offered a formal apology to Indigenous peoples for centuries of “pain and mistreatment,” and said that she would take concrete steps to rectify a history of injustice.

    The rights movement has lately centered on Mr. Talum’s case, which many activists see as linked to broader issues of Indigenous land rights and self-governance. They say that the government’s laws restricting hunting are unnecessary since Indigenous hunting culture is already circumscribed by a complex web of taboos and rituals.

    Experts said the ruling on Friday reflected the government’s lack of understanding of Indigenous culture.

    “This explanation restricts the Indigenous right to hunt from the cultural perspective of non-Indigenous peoples,” Awi Mona, a professor of Indigenous law at National Dong Hwa University in the eastern city of Hualien said in an interview.

    Taiwan’s Supreme Court had dismissed Mr. Talum’s appeal in 2015, but in 2017 it granted an extraordinary appeal to have the case referred for constitutional interpretation. Mr. Talum did not serve any jail time.

    “This outcome was a little unexpected,” Hsieh Meng-yu, Mr. Talum’s lawyer said in an interview after the court ruling was announced. “We thought the Indigenous rights movement would keep moving forward — we didn’t think that there would suddenly be this decline.”

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    Your Thursday Morning

    President Biden will pledge today to cut U.S. emissions nearly in half by the end of the decade, a target that would require transformative change to the American economy and way of life.

    The target is timed to a closely watched two-day summit meeting, beginning on Earth Day, that Mr. Biden is hosting to show that the U.S. is rejoining international efforts to combat climate change.

    The leaders of nearly 40 other countries will also attend, including those of Brazil, China, India and Canada, the only Group of 7 nation whose greenhouse gas emissions have increased since the Paris agreement. Brazil is seeking billions from the international community to support its promise to end illegal deforestation by 2030, a pledge that has been met with skepticism.

    Challenges: To meet the goal, which nearly doubles a prior pledge made by the Obama administration, significant actions across the U.S. economy would be required, particularly involving cars and power plants, the two biggest sources of emissions.

    world’s fastest-growing Covid-19 crisis, with new daily coronavirus cases nearing 300,000 on Wednesday and surpassing even the records from the height of the U.S. surge.

    The country’s health care system is buckling under the strain, with one of the most alarming aspects of India’s second wave being a dwindling oxygen supply. Many hospital officials said they were just hours away from running out, and 22 people died from loss of oxygen in one hospital after an accident.

    Britain has also imposed such restrictions, and the U.S. is advising against travel to India.

    Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

    In other developments:


    warned the West not to cross what he called a “red line” or risk provoking a powerful “asymmetric” response from Russia. He reminded Western leaders once again of the fearsomeness of his country’s modernized nuclear arsenal. And he asserted Russia’s moral superiority over the West.

    But on the country’s streets, thousands of citizens defied a heavy police presence to challenge his rule, as rallies organized to protest the prison treatment of the prominent opposition leader Aleksei Navalny seemed to mushroom into something more. Before the rallies, the authorities had arrested dozens of protest leaders in 20 cities.

    Tensions: Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, warned on Tuesday of a possible war with Russia. In a national address, he said Moscow’s buildup of troops on the border had created “all the preconditions for escalation.” (See pictures from the front line.)

    “a skeleton walking.” He is insisting that he be allowed to be seen by doctors of his choosing.

    killed by another Black model, George Koh.

    From prison, Koh still sounds bewildered by what he has done. “I kind of thought, OK, let me just show Harry that I’m a big man — and that’s how it escalated.”

    Here’s an excerpt from our climate team’s definitive answers to big questions about our warming world — and how we know what we know.

    How bad are the effects of climate change going to be?

    It depends on how aggressively we act to address climate change. If we continue with business as usual, by the end of the century, it will be too hot to go outside during heat waves in the Middle East and South Asia. Droughts will grip Central America, the Mediterranean and southern Africa. And many island nations and low-lying areas, from Texas to Bangladesh, will be overtaken by rising seas.

    Conversely, climate change could bring welcome warming and extended growing seasons to the upper Midwest, Canada, the Nordic countries and Russia. Farther north, however, the loss of snow, ice and permafrost will upend the traditions of Indigenous peoples and threaten infrastructure.

    kill jobs and cripple the economy. But that implies that there’s an alternative in which we pay nothing for climate change. And unfortunately, there isn’t.

    In reality, not tackling climate change will cost a lot and will cause enormous human suffering and ecological damage, while transitioning to a greener economy would benefit many people and ecosystems around the world.

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    Taiwan Hunters Contend With Taboos, and Trials, to Uphold Tradition

    ZHUOXI, Taiwan — The smell of damp earth filled the air on a recent moonless evening as the hunter wove through the dense mountain thicket, clutching a homemade rifle and with only the narrow white beam of a headlamp to illuminate his prey.

    But the hunter, Vilian Istasipal, was confident. He knew this terrain well.

    A member of the Bunun, one of 16 officially recognized Indigenous groups in Taiwan, Mr. Vilian, 70, has been hunting on this land for more than 60 years.

    Some of his earliest memories growing up in Zhuoxi, a town of around 6,000 people in eastern Taiwan, involved going on dayslong hunts with his father deep into the mountains where he learned skills considered essential to being a Bunun man, like how to lay a trap, shoot a flying squirrel and skin a boar.

    “We kill them, but we also pay respect to their lives,” Mr. Vilian said in the courtyard of his home in Zhuoxi, also known as Takkei in the Bunun language.

    formally apologized to the island’s Indigenous people for centuries of “pain and mistreatment,” the first leader to do so.

    Awi Mona, a professor and expert on Indigenous law at National Dong Hwa University in the eastern city of Hualien. “What we are actually discussing is the Indigenous right to self-government on natural resources.”

    Hunting has always been a central part of Taiwan’s Indigenous culture. In Taiwan’s verdant East Rift Valley, the Bunun people maintained the practice even after they were forced out of their traditional mountain homes in the 1930s by the colonial Japanese government.

    Many Bunun resettled in the foothills in towns like Zhuoxi, nestled among neatly tended millet and rice fields and scattered with papaya trees and pink bougainvillea.

    Then, as now, Indigenous hunting culture was circumscribed by a complex web of taboos and rituals. Traditionally, only men can hunt. Among the Bunun, flatulence and sneezing are some of the many bad omens that might lead a man to call off a hunt. Same goes if a hunter has a bad dream.

    In Bunun culture, hunting female deer in the spring, when they are likely to be pregnant, is off-limits. Hunting black bears, seen as friends, is also discouraged.

    Among other groups, like the Seediq and the Truku, hunting culture is similarly restricted by long-held customs, at the heart of which is a belief in the fundamental balance between man and nature.

    “When I see an animal, I feel that I’m destined to meet it,” said AlangTakisvilainan, 28, a Bunun hunter. He drew a distinction with hunting in America, where the use of semiautomatic rifles effectively amounted to bullying the animals, he said.

    “That humans and animals can go head-to-head in a fair fight,” he said, “I think that’s an incredible thing.”

    While only Indigenous people can use guns to hunt, they are barred from killing protected species like leopard cats and Formosan black bears, and are required to use certain types of traps, knives or old-fashioned homemade rifles that can jam easily and are some times unsafe. The simple firearms are modeled after those used long ago by Indigenous hunters and must be loaded with gunpowder before each shot.

    They must also apply for permits, a process which includes answering questions some hunters regard as absurd. Asking what animals a hunter plans to target, for example, is considered an insult to the Indigenous belief that the animals are gifts from ancestors.

    Although enforcement of the laws has been uneven, arrests have continued over the years. So just to be safe, Bayan Tanapima, 62, said he was applying for a gun permit even though he had been hunting since he was a teenager.

    “It’s very strange — we have lived for so long in the mountains so why do we have to do this?” Mr. Bayan said. “It’s like they don’t approve of the Indigenous way of living.”

    Conservationists have argued that loosening such restrictions would be ruinous for the environment and wildlife, and animal-rights advocates decry what they consider cruel practices. But defenders of local hunting traditions note that Indigenous people have been caretakers of Taiwan’s environment for thousands of years and that such expertise should be respected.

    Ciang Isbabanal, a police officer who works on Indigenous issues in the nearby town of Yuli, said that while hunting laws were necessary to curb extreme behavior, the cultural taboos on hunting were so deeply rooted that close outside supervision was unnecessary.

    “I hope the country can respect their culture and give them space to live freely,” said Mr. Ciang, a Bunun who also hunts when off-duty. “Having too many legal constraints doesn’t work.”

    Back in the forest on a recent night, Mr. Vilian, the 70-year-old hunter, strode up the mountain to where he knew there’d be trees heavy with just-ripened olives — a favorite snack of deer and boars.

    Mr. Vilian found a small boar writhing in a trap. According to tribal customs, it was too young to be killed just yet.

    After wrapping it in his shirt, he headed home to a late-night feast of braised bamboo shoots and deer meat soup.

    But before they could dig in, the ancestors needed to be thanked. Mr. Vilian, his son, Qaivang, and Mr. Bayan, his cousin, dipped their fingers in a bowl of rice wine. They sprinkled a few drops on the boar — now flailing in a rusty cage. The boar was later given to a relative to raise for several years.

    “Today we are very happy,” the men chanted in the Bunun language. “To our ancestors and mountain gods, we thank you for giving us this food.”

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