Protesters toppled statues of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II in Winnipeg, Canada, this week.
The statues came down amid other demonstrations that took place on Canada Day.
The protests came after unmarked graves were found at former schools for Indigenous children.
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Statues of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II were toppled in Canada amid outrage over the discovery of unmarked graves belonging to nearly 1,000 Indigenous children.
Reuters reported that a crowd chanted “no pride in genocide” before pulling down the two monarchs’ statues on Canada Day, an annual holiday celebrating the Canadian Confederation.
Protesters pulled down a statue of Queen Victoria outside the Manitoba provincial legislature in Winnipeg. She reigned from 1837 to 1901, when Canada was part of the British Empire.
Photos from Reuters showed the statue and pedestal were covered in painted red hand marks while the group reportedly kicked the toppled statue and danced around it.
A nearby statue of Queen Elizabeth II, who is Canada’s current head of state, was also pulled down, Reuters reported. Some people view her and Queen Victoria as symbols of Canada’s colonial past.
A representative for Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The demonstrations came after unmarked graves belonging to children were found at former Indigenous schools in Canada.
The bodies of 215 children were found in May at the Kamloops Indian Residential School site in British Columbia using ground-penetrating radar. The Kamloops school was the largest in the Indian Affairs residential school system, where thousands of Indigenous children were sent during the 19th and 20th centuries.
In June, the remains of 761 children were found at the site of the former Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan.
For 165 years, the schools forcibly separated Indigenous children from their families, Reuters reported. The children were reportedly subjected to malnourishment, physical abuse, and sexual abuse.
The schools were mainly run by the Catholic Church and funded by the government.
The United Nations Human Rights Office last month called on the Vatican to investigate the mass grave at the Kamloops school.
“Large scale human rights violations have been committed against children belonging to indigenous communities, it is inconceivable that Canada and the Holy See would leave such heinous crimes unaccounted for and without full redress,” the UN said in a statement.
During his Canada Day address, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the discoveries “have rightfully pressed us to reflect on our country’s historical failures.”
A spokesperson for Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Reuters that the government condemned any defacing of statues of the Queen.
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