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Were we lied to about the finding of “unmarked graves” of Indigenous children?

October 2023

Back in 2021, the country was rocked by the shocking news, presented as “fact,” that the graves of 215 children buried at a former Indian residential school in Kamloops, BC, had been discovered.

We were told that ground penetrating radar had located unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, but this was later walked back to state that “soil anomalies” had been found, which is big a difference from definitively finding a body.

The media went into overdrive to dismantle Canada’s international reputation and rebrand our great country as a racist, genocidal, imperialist former-dictatorship, guilty of unspeakable crimes against humanity.  There were claims of children being murdered and secretly buried in the night, sometimes by their fellow classmates, in “mass graves,” which has the inference that these children were dumped in open pits and covered over.

Now, over two years later, at best, there is no hard evidence to verify any of these horrendous accusations and at worst, it appears that none of it was true.

Very little has been done to excavate these suspected grave sites to determine if there are indeed human remains buried there or not, including the suspected 215 “graves” alleged to have been found at the Kamloops school. The few sites that have actually been excavated have turned up nothing to substantiate an attempted genocide against Canada’s First People. The only place where unmarked graves have actually been found, at the former Shubnecadie Indian Residential School, were in fact, graves of Irish immigrants who had been buried there 100 years before the school opened.

As a result of phrases like “mass graves” and “murdered children” being repeatedly uttered by legacy media journalists and politicians, churches throughout Western Canada were vandalized or burnt down in the summer of 2021, Canada Day celebrations across the country were cancelled, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau even created a new national holiday for Truth and Reconciliation, beginning in September 2021. 

As it stands now, there is no credible evidence that support the stories of murderous priests and clandestine, nighttime burials. Searches in Edmonton, Alberta, at both the former Shubenacadie Indian Residential School and the former Camsell Hospital in August 2021 and October 2021 respectively, turned up no indigenous burials.

The excavation of a church in Pine Creek, Manitoba, which was formerly part of a residential school operating from 1890 to 1969, also turned up no indigenous burials.

However, proponents of these as-of-now unproven allegations of unmarked graves insist that the failure to find any remains doesn’t disprove their claims, insisting the bones must have been moved. Perhaps the truth is that there never were any graves.

The ground penetrating radar used to find these “unmarked graves” actually can only detect soil anomalies. Rebel News reporter Adam Soos uncovered evidence that what Dr. Sarah Beaulieu identified as graves at the Kamloops school was actually the trench system for a disused septic system.

Archival evidence suggests that an extensive septic field with trenches that would be indiscernible from graves on ground penetrating radar, was present in the same location of the purported discovery of the 215 graves. This septic field would have seen extensive soil disruptions, including some 2000 feet of lineal ground tiling, roughly at the depth of the supposed shallow graves.

Indigenous children may indeed be lying in unmarked graves, which could have logical explanations that don’t involve clandestine murders, but so far, no Indigenous remains have actually been found. Many of the alleged unmarked graves in question has proven to be, in fact, previously marked graves in known cemeteries which serviced the broader rural (non-First Nations) communities. 

Indigenous children did indeed die while attending the residential schools, but many of those deaths were from natural causes, not as a result of murderous priests and nuns. Don’t forget, before modern medicine and disease prevention, many people of all ages died from diseases and infections that are survivable today.

I personally didn’t buy into the claim of children being murdered and secretly buried in the night, sometimes by their fellow classmates.  It seemed too fantastical to begin with, combined with the fact that the RCMP never launched any investigation into these accusations, something they certainly would have an obligation to do.  As a retired police officer, I live by a “show me the evidence” viewpoint.  In a court of law, the truth doesn’t matter.  All that matters is what you can prove.  Sometimes, the evidence does match the truth, which is the best outcome, but sometimes the evidence to support the truth just isn’t there, or there is no evidence to either support or disprove the allegation.  People can believe all they want that Jeffrey Epstein was murdered, but where is the evidence?  People can believe that Trump colluded with Russia, but where’s the evidence?

Unfortunately, the damage has been done. Entire indigenous communities have accepted this false narrative of murderous priests and nuns, with the added tragedy of entire an generation growing up believing that their ancestors were murdered and secretly buried. The New York Post called it “the biggest fake news story in Canada” and former New York Times editor Bari Weiss called it “The Great Canadian Mass Graves Hoax.”  

None of what I’m saying should minimize the actual and documented suffering that happened at residential schools, but the truth shouldn’t be confined by a political agenda, and the story of what happened at the schools certainly has been politicized. 

We also need to determine, if these locations are indeed graves, why these children died.  Those determinations can only be made through the exhumation of any remains that exist in these suspected grave locations.

Sources: Discovery casts serious doubt on Kamloops mass grave narrative – Rebel News, Scientist who used radar to find graves at Kamloops residential school site only scanned two of 160 acres – Capital Current, https://tnc.news/2022/09/21/pew-kamloops-school.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/were-we-lied-to-about-the-finding-of-unmarked-graves-of-indigenous-children/

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