$7.9 million and 85 burned Catholic Churches later, no unmarked graves found at Indian residential school ‘mass graves’ site in Kamloops, BC

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By MADALAINE ELHABBAL | CATHOLIC VOTE

According to the Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations in Canada, no human remains have been discovered at the site of an alleged “mass grave” at the Indian Residential School in Kamloops in British Columbia. 

Kamloops is about a 14-hour car drive southeast from Hyder, its closest community to Alaska.

On May 27, 2021, the Tkʼemlúps te Secwepemc First Nation claimed they had discovered the “heartbreaking truth” regarding the Catholic-run residential school after a ground-penetrating radar allegedly uncovered a mass grave of 215 children.

Three years, $7.9 million, and at least 85 destroyed historic Catholic churches later, no human remains have been discovered, according to a May 9 report from Western Standard. 

Department spokesperson Carolane Gratton stated in the report that the department had allocated the $7.9 million to uncovering the bodies, and confirmed that no progress had been made. 

Both Gratton and the First Nation tribe have declined to disclose how the funds were spent. 

“The discovery of 215 children’s graves at the Kamloops Residential School site in 2021 prompted an international outcry. However, no remains have been recovered since then. In response, the government lowered the Peace Tower flag for 161 days, allocated $3.1 million for a national Residential Schools Student Death Register, and earmarked $238.8 million for a Residential Schools Missing Children Community Support Fund, expiring in 2025,” the Western Standard reported.

In an op-ed published in The Federalist on May 10, John Daniel Davidson described the situation as “a hoax” and “a modern-day libel against Christians” that resulted in the widespread destruction of historic Catholic churches across Canada. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says, however, that “What happened decades ago isn’t part of our history, it is an irrefutable part of our present.”

Read the story at Catholic Vote.

Read the story at the Western Standard.

Similarly last year, after extensive excavation, no evidence of human remains were found on the grounds of a Manitoba residential school for Indians that had been run by Catholic nuns.

Deeper dive:

33 COMMENTS

  1. “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says, however, that “What happened decades ago isn’t part of our history, it is an irrefutable part of our present.”” Does that apply to blackface?

  2. Actually in some places there were unmarked graves of the elderly nuns who died tending to the schools. Originally they were marked with wooden fences and crosses bearing names, but over the century past deteriorated. ‘Never allow a crisis to go to waste,’ even if it is a made-up lie.

  3. What an amazing time we live in. Just produce some “evidence” and use the political climate to finally get back at those terrible Catholics who did our culture wrong all the while not using a dime of your own money. They’ve destroyed these churches and will continue to do so until they’re erased from history.

  4. So, in essence, in history, humans came in & destroyed the Native population, and then in present day, humans destroyed history. Doesn’t seem like lessons were fully learned. Or maybe I’m just needing more coffee.

  5. ” Both Gratton and the First Nation tribe have declined to disclose how the funds were spent. ” Imagine that, no doubt it’s just like here in the village. The council members, their friends, and family all get new trucks, new snogo’s, new atv’s, new boats, trips to Hawaii, and trips to Disney land. Grifters

    • The woke Pope slanders more Catholics than everybody else does.
      ‘http://popefrancisbookofinsults.blogspot.com/

    • As long as they continue touching children then yes, its definitely ok. Especially when the asleep try to deny it.

  6. I wish no ill on Native people, many are fine folks. Alaska Natives are a part of Alaska and can be fun to work with. All of that said, the situation in Canada has about the same feel to me as the claims of the Eklutna Indians to ownership of all property in the Anchorage bowl or the demand to tear down the Eklutna dam for a largely mythical salmon run. Just because some people want a thing to be true and ever so righteous, sometimes it just ain’t so.

  7. I find this article to be poorly written. It leaves me wondering if no remains were recovered because no actual recovery effort was made or if they actually dug the area and found nothing to recover.

    • Bob: the MRAK article skewed the facts. The Western Standard article linked to MRAK’s article says “no remains have been recovered.” It does NOT state “no human remains have been discovered” as the MRAK article claimed. There was widespread community resistance to exhuming the remains of the children, so instead, there have been attempts to identify the remains through record searches, oral histories of survivors, and fieldwork interviewing elders and families.

  8. Anti-Catholicism rears up about as regularly as Anti-Semitism. It is the last acceptable bigotry, at least in Protestant Canada and the US. After all, how can you be Protestant if you aren’t protesting something? Strawmen abound, and it’s just peachy with a large swath of the population.

    It would be fantastic if those who indulge in such bigotry would actually learn what the Church teaches instead of making up blood libels, but it’s probably more fun to stab the strawmen.

    • We’re used to it. The difference between us and our Jewish brothers is we are far less likely to put up with it.

  9. If you think the lie about what’s buried outside is a big deal you ought to hear the whopper they’re teaching inside!

  10. I have experience with GPR and photon magnetometry surveys. You would not be able to see changes in density well enough with a GPR to distinguish human remains, let alone distinguish 215 individual graves, nor to further characterize them as juvenile or adult. Ask any experienced archaeologist. You have one here, my friends. It was a stupid lie. A transparent lie. And a willfully ignorant lie from the start. An absurdity that, thankfully, was proved to be such due to “negative findings” in an excavation.

    It’s not the first time I’ve observed native groups alleging the presence of human remains just to get some political wins. Try working in Hawaii for five minutes. In this case it was a pay day the size of Niagara Falls. The anti-Catholic bigotry and vandalism was simply the actions of a background population of folks who hate Catholicism and will use any excuse they can get to justify their bigotry.

  11. Awww Sue, tell us how much you really hate Natives without telling us how much you really hate Natives.

    I could put you in touch with a survivor, an actual real life person who was forced to go to one of those schools.

    Instead of repeating the lies of the far right, how about doing some actual journalism by sitting down and interviewing someone who went there ?

    Get the story first hand instead of from these biased writers ?

    It happened, the forced removal, the sexual and physical abuse, it was real. Some of those kids didn’t come home, the records reflect that.

    • Instead of the “I-know-more-stuff-than you-do” approach, I suggest that if you claim to know the actual truth that you cite some sources. Otherwise you have simply doubled down on unverified assertions and have done little to move things forward.

      • J. Do a three minute google search and you’ll find tons of articles, photos,archives that document the abuse

      • Are you disputing that abuses didn’t take place ?

        Kamloops was one school, there were many others.

        The abuses are well documented, the Catholic and Anglican churches have admitted as much.

        It’s really astonishing to read some of these comments, the ignorance of the damage that these boarding schools did to the indigenous people of Alaska and Canada is profound.

        I knew someone personally who went to one of these schools.Those Anglican priests do did not treat him nor his siblings and cousins well.

        You can sit there behind your keyboard and dismiss me all you want, it doesn’t change a thing.

        The author of this blog has a bias, I won’t divulge it here, but she has a reason to slant these stories in the way that she does.

        She doesn’t care about the pain that it cause some people to feel when they read a story like this, knowing the truth of what happened to them and their loved ones.

        And y’all wonder why there’s so much pain and dysfunction in some native communities. It’s because you and the author lack empathy and compassion.

        • If you have a claim to make, make it. Otherwise you come off as a spoiled child saying you “were gonna do something”, now you won’t because…reasons.

          Until you go public with what you claim to know regarding your slant accusations, you’re little more than another obnoxious troll throwing poo at the wall.

    • Are you saying you actually know someone who attended the Indian Residential School in Kamloops, BC? And who can tell us where the 215 unmarked juvenile graves are? If conditions were so patently terrible for everyone who ever resided in that school for the entire period that it was operated by Catholic nuns, which spanned from 1890 to 1969, why do the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc First Nation survivors need to lie about it? And lie, they did. Alleging that there is an unmarked mass grave of dead children there, which demonstrably now has been proven false.

      • The person whom i knew attended a different school, not the one in Kamloops. That person is now deceased, but their descendent’s are still alive.

        I’m not speaking to Kamloops as much as I am to boarding schools in general.

        I’ve heard these stories first hand from more than one person who was forced to go to a residential school.

        It wasn’t just the Catholics, it was the Anglicans too.

        The abuse was real, no matter how much you wish that it wasn’t. Each and every person who were forced to go to these schools has their own unique story. For some, there was no other option.

        The person whom I knew was placed there by his father, after his mother had died in the Spanish flue epidemic. There literally was no other option at the time, so on one hand that school saved him and his siblings, and on the other it fostered a lifelong distrust of organized religion.

        The whole purpose of those schools was to beat the native out of those kids and assimilate them into the dominant white culture. Some of y’all are perfectly fine with that and believe it to be necessary.

        I knew another person, now deceased, who was sent to the Jesuit school in St Mary’s. Her father pulled her out after she came home for Christmas break one year, covered in head lice. The stories that she had to tell were heartbreaking.

        No matter how much the author of this blog wants to sugarcoat this, the truth is that the abuses were real, kids were snatched away from families and some of those kids never came home. It’s a documented fact, the church records reflect this, so now what happened to this kids ??

        • You should learn the first rule of being in a hole. Stop digging.

          As surprised as you may be to learn this, it’s common knowledge the Church has its fair share of skeletons. So for natives, for that matter. It’s called being human.

          Few here will deny bad things happened. Difference is, few here are beating a drum over events long past we have no control over.

          In your smarmy zeal to get gotcha points, you lost any and all moral high ground in pushing this issue.
          Especially since you have very wobbly goal posts. And wobblier credibility.

          Wanna make an actual difference? It takes work. Contact Wev Shay (sp). He has been beating the drum regarding the ongoing potential trafficking of native children for years. More, he has alleged the state of Alaska is complicit.

          So, essentially put up or troll elsewhere.

  12. As a Native American I am a lot more concerned about the rape and murder actually occurring in villages and reservations today than the afore mentioned hoax. A cemetery is not a mass grave. The left has been obsessed with mass graves for some time now, even though they are responsible for the real ones. The left is a cult of murder, crime, misery, lies and hate. The LORD will see to them in HIS own time.

    • Speaking as a Catholic, I don’t dispute bad behavior by the Church towards natives.

      But I can’t undo the past. When credible evidence shows, it should be addressed. But we do ask the evidence be credible. The BC story is like the McMartin Satanic Preschool allegations of the 80s. Too “good” to be true.

      Like you, I’m far more concerned about abuses happening now than ones long finished before I was born.
      Now we can do something about.

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