Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (L) greets Pope Francis during a welcoming ceremony at Edmonton International Airport in Alberta, western Canada, on July 24, 2022. - Pope Francis visits Canada for a chance to personally apologize to Indigenous survivors of abuse committed over a span of decades at residential schools run by the Catholic Church. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP) (Photo by VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images)


Canada’s Mass Graves Narrative That Sparked Church Burnings Crumbles Amid Dearth Of Evidence

It was the motivating myth behind the torching of churches and the toppling of statues, but is it true?

The public was informed in the summer of 2021 that a mass grave of Native American children had been discovered near the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School, a Catholic boarding school that forced the assimilation of Native American youth.

But no bodies had been recovered. Instead, the conclusion that the remains of 215 children — some as young as three — had been buried at the site was substantiated only by what the New York Times referred to as “ground-penetrating radar.”

The ordeal was seized upon by those quoted in the New York Times as “a horrible, horrible history,” a “national tragedy,” and a revelation of “a dark and painful chapter in our country’s history.”

A follow-up report in The Washington Post was even more shocking. It claimed that there were indications that a site near the former Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan was home to 751 unmarked graves.

The claim was reported as the second announcement “in less than a month as the country reckons with the devastating legacy of one of the darkest chapters of its history.”

Cowessess First Nation Chief Cadmus Delorme urged Canadians to “put down our ignorance and accidental racism of not addressing the truth that this country has with Indigenous people.”

The Catholic Archbishop of Regina Don Bolen responded to the alleged finding as well, saying that it “brings us face to face with the brutal legacy of the Indian Residential School system.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the two findings a “shameful reminder of the systemic racism, discrimination, and injustice that Indigenous peoples have faced — and continue to face — in this country.”

It didn’t take long after the report on the alleged grave site at Kamloops before chaos ensued. A whopping 55 Canadian churches were the targets of vandalism or arson in the month following the first report. Of the sum, 21 churches had been lit on fire, with several (primarily Catholic) churches being burnt to the ground. Only one arrest was made in connection to the attacks.

Other scenes were reminiscent of the Black Lives Matter riots just a year earlier in the United States, with statues of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth falling prey to protesters in Winnipeg.


Prime Minister Trudeau called the acts of arson “unacceptable” before going on to say “I understand the anger that’s out there against the federal government, against institutions like the Catholic church. It is real and it is fully understandable given the shameful history.”

Executive director of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association Harsha Walia encouraged the anti-Christian arson attacks in a tweet that read “Burn it all down.” Walia resigned amid the controversy, while the organization’s board released a statement celebrating her work on “equity, diversity, and inclusion.”

But after the burnings of churches, the toppling of statues, and the statements from leaders, the legitimacy of the original claims has now come into question. Here’s an overview of each alleged site of mass graves, complete with both the original claims and the findings to date:

Kamloops Indian Residential School:

  • Claim: Ground penetrating radar indicated the presence of the remains of 215 Native American children.
  • Findings: The anomalies found by the radar were not graves but rather appears to be a septic field.

Marieval Indian Residential School: 

  • Claim: Ground penetrating radar indicated that there were 751 unmarked graves on surrounding premises.
  • Findings: The grave at Marieval was not a mass grave for Indigenous children, but a Catholic Cemetery.

Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Roman Catholic Church:

  • Claim: Ground penetrating radar indicated 57 “anomalies,” including “14 possible burial sites.”
  • Findings: An excavation conducted by an archaeological team at the University of Brandon found “no evidence of human remains.”

Despite the lack of evidence for mass graves of Native American children at residential schools, those who’ve questioned the claims have been blasted as “denialists.” An article from the state-affiliated Canadian Broadcasting Corporation warned that “denialism is the last step of genocide.”

The “denialists” at the core of the article were an unidentified group of people who attempted to dig up the alleged graves at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in order to test the veracity of the claims.

Kimberly Murray, who was appointed as the Independent Special Interlocutor for Missing Children and Unmarked Graves and Burial Sites associated with Indian Residential Schools, argued that “Denialism is violence. Denialism is calculated. Denialism is harmful. Denialism is hate.”

Federal Justice Minister David Lametti stated that he was willing to consider outlawing denialism, penalizing it with criminal and civil measures that punish those who deny, minimize, or condone the Holocaust. 


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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Canada’s Mass Graves Narrative That Sparked Church Burnings Crumbles Amid Dearth Of Evidence