Statues of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II have been toppled in Canada amid growing anger over the treatment of indigenous people.

Protesters in Winnipeg chanted “no pride in genocide” before pulling down the statues of the monarchs.

The protests come as a recent discovery by a Canadian indigenous group found 182 human remains in unmarked indigenous Canadian graves at a residential school.

They were recovered from a former Catholic-run school near Cranbrook, British Columbia.

More than 150,000 native children were required to attend state-run Christian schools.

At the schools, they were prevented from speaking their native languages in order to assimilate into Canadian society.

Around 6,000 young people are thought to have died in these schools as a result of being subjected to rape, beatings, verbally abuse and malnutrition.

Students were also housed poorly built, poorly heated and unsanitary facilities.

The schools were first opened under the reign of Queen Victoria and closed in the 1970s.

The tearing down of the statues took place on Canada Day on 1 July.

It’s an annual celebration that commemorates the country’s founding by British colonies in 1867.

Before the statues were pulled down, the statue of Queen Victoria was smeared in red paint while a sign saying “we were children” was also left by protesters.

The British government have condemned the statue topplings.

“We obviously condemn any defacing of statues of the Queen,” an official spokesperson said.

“Our thoughts are with Canada’s indigenous community following these tragic discoveries and we follow these issues closely and continue to engage with the government of Canada with indigenous matters,” they added.

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has yet to publicly comment on the statues being pulled down.

But he did tweet out his condolences after the discovery of the unmarked graves, and in his Canada Day message acknowledged that for some, the date is “not yet a day of celebration.”

Meanwhile people reacted to the statue toppling on Twitter and shared their thoughts about the protest.

Some people pointed out that there was a reason behind pulling down the statue of the monarchs.

While conservatives were not impressed with the stunt.

Elsewhere others have compared it to events last year, where a statue of slave trader Edward Coulson was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol, UK.

In 2015, Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission called the residential schools system “cultural genocide”.

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