Over a dozen churches were set on fire throughout Canada over claims that ground-penetrating radar discovered what appeared to be an "unmarked mass grave" of indigenous children "as young as three years old" in Kamloops, yet not one body has been exhumed and the radar signatures of "graves" may just be tree roots and stones.
This is one of the more interesting narrative collapses I've seen.
The 200 body-sized "mass grave" at a former Native Residential School was detected by LIDAR-style techniques that likely just found tree roots. "Zero" actual bodies have been unearthed...https://t.co/QC7Wv4cdh3
AFTER SEVEN MONTHS of recrimination and denunciation, where are the remains of the children buried at the Kamloops Indian Residential School?
The Canadian Press has just honoured the children of residential schools as the "Person of the Year 2021." The huge media story last summer grew out of the scanning of part of the site in the British Columbia interior where the school operated from 1890 to 1978. The "discovery" was first reported last May 27 by Tk'emlúps te secwépemc First Nation Chief Rosanne Casimir after an anthropologist, Sarah Beaulieu, used ground-penetrating radar in a search for the remains of children alleged by some to be buried there. She is a young anthropologist, an instructor in Anthropology and Sociology at the University of the Fraser Valley since 2018. Her preliminary report is actually based on depressions and abnormalities in the soil of an apple orchard near the school – not on exhumed remains. According to Chief Casimir, these "missing children" represent "undocumented deaths." Their presence, she says, has long been "knowledge" in the community and "some were as young as three years old."
From new research revealed at a July 15 press conference last year, the anthropologist scaled back the potential discovery from 215 to 200 "probable burials." Having "barely scratched the surface," she found many "disturbances in the ground such as tree roots, metal and stones." The "disruptions picked up in the radar," she says, led her to conclude that the sites "have multiple signatures that present like burials." But she cannot confirm that until the site is excavated – if it is ever done. A community spokesperson says the full report "cannot" be released to the media. For Chief Casimir, "it is not yet clear whether the continuing work on the Kamloops site will involve excavation."
The Kamloops "discovery" of 2021 created a major sensation in Canada and abroad. Based on the preliminary assessment and before any remains were found or any credible report made, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau immediately referred to "a dark and shameful chapter" in Canadian history. British Columbia Premier John Horgan said he was "horrified and heartbroken" to learn of a burial site with 215 children that highlights the violence and consequences of the residential school system. Several other Aboriginal communities and media outlets then followed up with references to unmarked graves.
We must acknowledge the dark and shameful chapters of our past, including the residential school system that tore Indigenous families and communities apart and has had enduring impacts on Indigenous peoples across the country. We must make sure such acts are never forgotten.
On May 30, the federal government lowered the flags on all its buildings to half-staff. Later, it instituted a new holiday to honour "missing" children and survivors of residential schools. Spontaneously, clusters of shoes and orange shirts and other paraphernalia were placed on church steps in many cities or on the steps of legislatures in memory of the little victims. Around the country, churches were burned or vandalized. Statues were spray-painted and pulled down in apparent retaliation for the fate of the children. The statue of Queen Victoria in front of the Manitoba Legislature was defaced and pulled down. Montreal's statue of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada's first prime minister, was knocked down, his detached bronze head symbolically rolling on the ground.
In the wake of unsubstantiated claims by Aboriginal leaders, several media outlets amplified and hyped the story by alleging that the bodies of 215 children had been found, adding that "thousands" of children had "gone missing" from residential schools and that parents had not been informed. The undisturbed sites even became "mass graves" where bodies were dumped in a jumble.
This supposed "news" made the rounds in all sorts of media, tarnishing Canada's self-image and reputation abroad. Under the title "Horrible History: Mass Grave of Indigenous Children Reported in Canada," the May 28 New York Times, even when updated on Oct. 5, reported that "For decades, most [sic] Indigenous children in Canada were taken from their families and forced into boarding schools. A large number [sic] never returned home, their families given only vague explanations, or none at all." The indigenous community "has found evidence of what happened to some of its missing children: a mass grave containing the remains of 215 children on the grounds of a former residential school."
THESE FALSE REPORTS induced the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to portray the situation as "a large scale human rights violation." The UN urged Canadian authorities and the Catholic Church to conduct "thorough investigations into the discovery of a mass grave containing the remains of over 200 children" — again before a single verified body had been exhumed. Amnesty International is demanding that the persons and institutions responsible for the "remains" that had been "found" in Kamloops be prosecuted.
[...] The supposed perpetrators of this "crime" are also making excuses: governments, religious communities, the Conference of Catholic Bishops. In June Pope Francis expressed his pain for "the shocking discovery in Canada of the remains of 215 children" at Kamloops, and in an exceptional gesture promised to come to Canada. Aboriginal leaders are demanding a formal apology and some (including Rosanne Casimir) that the church provide more compensation for survivors. To find out the truth about unmarked graves, the Canadian government made available in June an envelope of $27 million to "to identify and delineate burial sites, and returning remains home if desired."
By never pointing out that it is only a matter of speculation or potentiality, and that no remains have yet been found, governments and the media are simply granting credence to what is really a thesis: the thesis of the "disappearance" of children from residential schools. From an allegation of "cultural genocide" endorsed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) we have moved to "physical genocide," a conclusion that the Commission explicitly rejects in its report. And all of this is based only on soil abnormalities that could easily be caused by root movements, as the anthropologist herself cautioned in the July 15 press conference.
According to another anthropologist, Scott Hamilton, who has worked on residential school cemeteries for the TRC between 2013-2015, one must be very careful with the use of ground-penetrating radar because the soil may have been disturbed over the years by "sedimentary texture, ... culturally-derived unconformities, obstructions or voids." A project to test the soil with the same method at the Brandon Residential School in Manitoba, which began in 2012 and was re-launched in 2019, has not yet yielded any conclusive results. In June, the research team works to identify 104 potential graves and still needs to consult the residential school's archives and interview survivors.
The few indigenous children who died at a rate of "about four deaths per year for every 1,000 youth attending the schools" between 1921 to 1950 were "mostly recorded as having died of influenza and tuberculosis."
"On the other hand," Rouillard said, "the mortality rate in residential schools was actually comparable to the Canadian average from 1950 to 1965, again for youth aged five to fourteen."
Some indigenous grave sites are only "unmarked" now because the wooden crosses that marked their graves "quickly crumbled."
According to historian Jim Miller of the University of Saskatchewan, "the remains of children discovered in Marieval and Kamloops had been buried in cemeteries according to Catholic rites, under wooden crosses that quickly crumbled." "The wooden cross was a Catholic burial marker for the poor," confirms Brian Gettler of the University of Toronto.
Another supposed unmarked indigenous "mass grave" site in Cranbrook, British Columbia was found to be an overgrown cemetery.
"Mass grave" found in B.C. ends up being overgrown cemetery.
This is why proper research and investigation is needed before accusing people (even dead people) of genocide.
The detection of human remains in unmarked graves at the site of a former residential school in B.C. was not an unexpected discovery, according to the area's former chief.
On Wednesday, it was confirmed that ground-penetrating radar found 182 unmarked graves in a cemetery at the site of the former Kootenay Residential School at St. Eugene Mission just outside Cranbrook, B.C.
The remains were found when remedial work was being performed in the area to replace the fence at the cemetery last year.
Sophie Pierre, former chief of the St Mary's Indian Band and a survivor of the school itself, told Global News that while the news of the unmarked graves had a painful impact on her and surrounding communities, they had always known the graves were there.
"There's no discovery, we knew it was there, it's a graveyard," Pierre said. "The fact there are graves inside a graveyard shouldn't be a surprise to anyone."
There is no evidence any "genocide" took place.
The Canadian government just wanted to jump on the Black Lives Matter bandwagon and push the same myth-based, white guilt agenda on their population and this was their excuse.
In Finland, where they have zero history of owning slaves and their people were actually taken en masse as slaves, leftists had to dig even deeper to make up their own white guilt story to piggyback on the whole Black Lives Matter movement.
Though they couldn't find a single case of Finns enslaving anyone, they nonetheless said their population needs to feel terribly guilty because they sold other European powers wood and tar which they used -- in part -- to make slave ships!