The decapitated head from a statue of Queen Victoria was pulled from the Assiniboine River in Canada on Friday, after being thrown in by protesters who toppled the monument in anger over the treatment of Indigenous people under colonial rule.

The statue previously stood outside the Manitoba Legislature but was pulled down during Canada Day protests, with tensions high following the recent discovery of graves containing the remains of hundreds of Indigenous children. The children were students at residential schools, which were part of a policy of forced assimilation. 

After the statue was toppled, someone removed the head overnight and threw it into the river. It was fished out the next day by kayaker Tom Armstrong.

Police say they did not intervene when the statues were toppled by a small group during mostly peaceful events, to avoid further inflaming the situation. They are investigating the incident.