**Updated** Nova Scotia report calls for reckoning on history of systemic racism

**Updated at 12:11 p.m.**

A culture of silence and shame allowed the abuse of orphans to persist for decades at the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children, according to a new report that calls for a province-wide reckoning with the historic legacy of systemic racism.

The second report by the public inquiry into abuses at the Halifax-area orphanage said racism in Nova Scotia continues to breed mistrust and sometimes even fear of public agencies.

Former residents of the home told the inquiry they felt abandoned by the systems designed to protect them, allowing the abuse to go unchecked and unreported for so long.

Former residents described the trauma of entering care, with police and social workers telling them they were ``just going for a drive'' or ``going to the store'' before dropping them off without explanation at the orphanage, the report said.

They also said they felt a sense of helplessness at the orphanage, which opened in 1921.

Some staff members pitted residents against each other and forced children to fight their friends, damaging any bonds they had and increasing their feelings of isolation, the report said.