2 More Catholic Churches In Canada Burned As Third Mass Gravesite For Indigenous Kids Found

No less than 7 churches have been burned in the past weeks as more than 1,000 bodies of children have been found near former Indian Residential Schools.

Two more Catholic churches in Canada have been the aim of probable arson as revolt continuously raises among people after more than 1,000 human remains belonging to Indigenous children were discovered.

The news correlates with the finding of a third site where 182 unmarked graves were detected near a residential school in British Columbia’s interior.

Early Wednesday morning, firemen were sent to fight a fire at St. Jean Baptiste Parish in Morinville, Alberta, which was basically gutted by the blaze.

“The fire was already fully involved from the basement when the first fire crews got here,” Morinville’s infrastructure general manager Iain Bushell explained CTV News. “They entered the building but there was already collapse occurring on the inside of the church so they backed out and it’s been a defensive or exterior fire fight ever since.”

The police department has characterized the blaze as “suspicious.”

CBC reports say that approximately an hour later, another fire was reported, too at the Catholic St. Kateri Tekakwitha Church in Sipekne’katik First Nation in Nova Scotia.

A minimum of seven churches, almost all of them Catholic, have been a target of an apparent arson attack throughout Canada in the past weeks. Activists and Indigenous advocates have also vandalized Catholic churches with bloody red hand and foot prints. Protests have also been staged involving stuffed animals and the slogan “we were children.”

Even though it is still not known what exactly caused the fires, it is considered to be concerning the recent finding of mass graves and unmarked graves with more than 1,000 human remains near Catholic-run residential schools for First Nations children.

The finding came only a couple of weeks after the horrible discovery of 215 Indigenous children’s bodies by the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc First Nation in a mass grave at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Colombia.

Also last month, it was reported by the Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan that 751 unmarked graves were discovered near the site of the former Marieval Indian Residential School, which worked from 1899 to 1997 in the sector.

On Wednesday, one more site with 182 unmarked graves was made public after an investigation undertaken by the community of ʔaq’am, near Cranbrook, British Columbia.

Approximately 150,000 First Nations children were separated by force from their families and communities and forced to go to the religious schools which were found in the 19th century in order to assimilate Indigenous children into Canada’s Anglo settler-colonial culture.

It was confirmed by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission that a great number of Indigenous children escaped such residential schools or died there, their whereabouts unknown. Former students have also testified to the terrible sexual, mental and physical abuse they were put through while attending these schools. Countless students passed away from preventable diseases that quickly spread in unsanitary conditions, and also in accidents and fires. Other students disappeared while attempting to escape. These schools were condemned by the Commission for institutionalizing child neglect and for being organs of “cultural genocide.”

Indigenous groups and politicians in Canada are also asking for an apology from the Catholic Church – concretely Pope Francis. Activists have also rejected the annual Canada Day celebrations to call attention to the anti-Indigenous monstrous crimes that the founding of the North American country generated.