Canada: Queen Victoria statue torn down at protest over indigenous deaths

A group of protesters had marched on the Manitoba Legislature as part of a demonstration against the deaths of Indigenous Canadian children at residential schools.

But it was not immediately clear why the protesters decided to target the statues of the British queens in the city.

British monarch from 1837 until her death in 1901, Queen Victoria was on the throne during the founding of the Canadian confederation. The British Crown negotiated treaties with Indigenous First Nations in Canada and the government enacted its residential schools policy during her reign.

At the protest in Winnipeg, the statue of Queen Victoria was daubed in red paint while a sign saying “we were children” was left nearby.

A survivor of a residential school, Belinda Vandenbroeck, told Canadian broadcaster CBC she felt no remorse about the toppling of the statue, which she had no part in.

“She [Queen Victoria] means nothing to me except that her policies and her colonialism is what is dictating us right to this minute as you and I speak,” Ms Vandenbroeck said.

Symbols of empire, colonialism and slavery have been targeted by protesters at demonstrations against racial injustice across the globe in the past year. Those demonstrations exploded worldwide following the death of African-American man George Floyd in May 2020.

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