Beginning in 1847 and lasting until 1996, the Canadian government, in partnership with the dominant Christian Churches, ran 130 residential boarding schools across Canada for Aboriginal children, who were forcibly taken from their homes. While the schools were said to educate, they were plagued by under-funding, disease, and abuse.
Because of laws and policies that encouraged or required Indigenous peoples to assimilate into a Eurocentric society, Canada violated the United Nations Genocide Convention that Canada signed in 1949 and passed through Parliament in 1952. The residential school system that removed Aboriginal children from their homes has led scholars to believe that Canada can be tried in international court for genocide. A legal case resulted in settlement of 2 billion C$ in 2006 and the 2008 establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission which confirmed the injurious effect on children of this system and turmoil created between Aboriginal Canadians and Canadian Society. In 2008 Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued an apology on behalf of the Canadian government and its citizens for the residential school system.