Not One Body Has Been Found At Indigenous ‘Unmarked Mass Grave’ In Kamloops, Canada

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by Chris Menahan, Information Liberation:

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.

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Professor Jacques Rouillard of the Department of History at the University of Montreal writes in The Dorchester Review, “In Kamloops, Not One Body Has Been Found”:

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.

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.

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