Indigenous Americans demand a reckoning with brutal colonial history

As statues of queens and conquistadors are tumbled amid protests across North and South America, Indigenous people are pushing for a region-wide reckoning with colonialism’s bitter legacy of massacre and cultural erasure. From the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego, Indigenous Americans have taken aim at the Catholic Church, national governments and other powerful institutions. In Canada, the horrifying discovery of the unmarked graves of Indigenous children near former Catholic boarding schools has prompted widespread calls for a reassessment of the country’s colonial history and the structural inequalities that persist today. 

This Canada Day, let’s remember: this country was built on genocide

In Chile and Colombia, uprisings over social inequity have also been accompanied by demands for a reconsideration of national narratives and the lingering aftermath of conquest. And while contexts and histories vary drastically across the region, a common experience of marginalization, poverty and low life expectancy has prompted many Indigenous people to draw parallels across colonial borders….

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