Head of Queen Victoria statue removed from river after Canada’s protests – .

Head of Queen Victoria statue removed from river after Canada’s protests – .

The head of the Queen Victoria statue was recovered by a kayaker (Photos: Getty / PA / AP)

The decapitated head of a statue of Queen Victoria was found in a river after being thrown into the water by Canadian protesters.

Protesters shot down the monument on Canada Day – celebrating independence from British rule – to express their anger at the historic treatment of Indigenous peoples.

The statue was toppled during protests in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Thursday before being beheaded overnight.

The head was recovered from the Assiniboine River by a kayaker named Tom Armstrong the next day.

Tensions erupted after the discovery of hundreds of anonymous graves believed to belong to Indigenous Canadians.

It comes amid allegations of abuse in the country’s residential school system, which saw at least 150,000 children forced into institutions during Queen Victoria’s reign.

Police did not intervene during the largely peaceful events to avoid escalating the situation, according to The Telegraph. Officers are currently investigating.

Statues of Queen Elizabeth II were also demolished and disfigured during the protests.

Kayaker Tom Armstrong recovered the head of the Queen Victoria statue from the Assiniboine River in Winnipeg on Friday (Photo: AP)
The beheaded statue of Queen Victoria in Winnipeg (Photo: Kelly Geraldine Malone / The Canadian Press via ZUMA Press)

Indigenous groups say they have identified more than 1,100 graves, mostly belonging to youth who attended residential schools.

Up to 6,000 are believed to have died in schools, primarily in British Columbia and Saskatchewan, in western Canada, which were largely controlled by the Catholic community.

Indigenous leaders in Canada demanded an apology from the Pope for the church’s role in forcing children to attend schools, where there was widespread physical and sexual abuse.

Pope Francis will meet with representatives of the country’s three largest indigenous groups – First Nations, Métis and Inuit – at the Vatican in December, the New York Times reported.

BANGKOK, THALANDE - NOVEMBER 21: Pope Francis visits Saint Louis Hospital on November 21, 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.  Pope Francis arrived in Bangkok yesterday to begin a three-day tour of Thailand and then Japan.  This is the first visit of the head of the Roman Catholic Church since Saint John Paul II in 1984. Thailand, a Buddhist country, has about 388,000 Catholics, out of 69 million inhabitants.  (Photo by Lauren DeCicca / Getty Images)

Indigenous leaders have called on Pope Francis to apologize for the abuse suffered by children (Photo: Lauren DeCicca / Getty Images)
Justin Trudeau calls for apology from the Vatican

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged the Pope to atone for the Catholic Church on Canadian soil

A statement from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said the Pope was “deeply committed to hearing directly from Indigenous peoples, expressing his sincere closeness, addressing the impact of colonization and the role of the Church in the residential school system “.

But the Pope has so far resisted pressure to apologize for the atrocities.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also urged Pope Francis to travel to the country to apologize.

Mr. Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa: “I have spoken personally directly with His Holiness Pope Francis to make him understand how important it is not only that he apologize, but that he apologize to others. Native Canadians on Canadian soil.

“I know that the leadership of the Catholic Church is very actively researching and engaging in the next steps that can be taken. “

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