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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

An Indian graveyard with no bodies

Canadian politics are outside my ken but occasionally the Land of Justin Castreau does something bizarre enough to amuse me. So it goes with the story CNN billed last June 1 as, "'Unthinkable' discovery in Canada as remains of 215 children found buried near residential school."

By residential school, CNN and Canada mean an Indian school designed to get Indian children to assimilate into the culture that white people brought to Canada and the United States.

Many Indians assimilated on their own as they intermarried and adapted to a new culture with its technological advancements such as using the wheel in transportation. 

And some Indians saw white culture as a better future for their children. When Kansas moved the Kaw people, for whom the state was named, further west, the Indian grandparents of Charles Curtis ordered him to go with his white grandparents. He later became the first and only American Indian to serve as vice president. He also worked to have citizenship bestowed up all American Indians.

The stunning discovery of the graves of 215 Indian children at the Indian school was sad. Justin Trudeau (his real name as I was having fun earlier) ordered flags at half-staff for the 215 children. He later declared a national holiday for the children who died and survivors -- not graduates -- of these residential schools.

The CNN story said, "The Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc community in the southern interior of British Columbia, where the school was located, released a statement late Thursday saying an 'unthinkable loss that was spoken about but never documented' was confirmed."

Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc community said, "This past weekend, with the help of a ground penetrating radar specialist, the stark truth of the preliminary findings came to light -- the confirmation of the remains of 215 children who were students of the Kamloops Indian Residential School."

Catholics ran the school until the federal government took over in the 1960s and shuttered it in 1978. It became a museum of Indian culture.

Canadians spent last summer discovering other unmarked graveyards. But a curious thing is that they used radar, not excavation to discover these unmarked graves. They based this on indentations underground.

Geronimo Henry, who attended an Indian school from 1942 to 1953, told the New York Times, "With the radar, searching for unmarked graves, it’s part of the truth and reconciliation. The natives are telling the truth. Now it’s up to the government to try to reconcile with all the wrongs."

Is it?

Jacques Rouillard is professor emeritus in the Department of History at the Université de Montréal.

He wrote, "In Kamloops, Not One Body Has Been Found."

Nearly a year after the announcement that 215 bodies have been found, no one has bothered to see if there really are children buried in a field near the school, he said. I would think that verification of the radar would be prudent before declaring a national holiday and demanding Catholics pay the Indians for educating Indian children.

Rouillard wrote, "According to another anthropologist, Scott Hamilton, who has worked on residential school cemeteries for the TRC between 2013-2015, one must be very careful with the use of ground-penetrating radar because the soil may have been disturbed over the years by 'sedimentary texture, ... culturally-derived unconformities, obstructions or voids.' A project to test the soil with the same method at the Brandon Residential School in Manitoba, which began in 2012 and was re-launched in 2019, has not yet yielded any conclusive results. In June, the research team works to identify 104 potential graves and still needs to consult the residential school's archives and interview survivors."

The Canadian government's Truth and Reconciliation Committee (that really is its Orwellian name) apparently does not want to know the truth. It just wants to apologize to Indians.

Children did die there.

He wrote, "At the Kamloops residential school, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation  officially recorded the names of 51 children who died from 1915 to 1964. We have been able to find information on these children from the records in Library and Archives Canada and from death certificates held by the British Columbia Archives’ Genealogy resource online which, it seems, was not consulted by NCTR researchers."

51 children dying over 49 years at a school for 500 children while sad is not a sign of mass murder.

He wrote, "17 died in hospital and 8 on their own reserves as a result of illness or accidents. 4 were the subject of autopsies and 7 of coroners’ inquests. As for burial sites, 24 are buried in their home Indian Reserve cemetery, and 4 at the Kamloops Indian Reserve cemetery."

That was when the Catholics ran it. The government took over later. Who knows what the government did? Priests and nuns are more trustworthy than civil service-protected hirelings.

Rouillard's piece is well researched with 30 citations as he is a scholar.

He concluded, "It is hard to believe that a preliminary search for an alleged cemetery or mass grave in an apple orchard on reserve land near the residential school of Kamloops could have led to such a spiral of claims endorsed by the Canadian government and repeated by mass media all over the world. It gives a terrible and simplistic impression of complex issues in Canadian history. The exhumations have not yet begun and no remains have obviously been found. Imaginary stories and emotion have outweighed the pursuit of truth. On the road to reconciliation, isn’t the best way to seek and tell the whole truth rather than deliberately create sensational myths?"

History is written by the winners.

This is a re-write by socialists, just as they are re-writing American history. The purpose is not to learn from the past but to indoctrinate in the present.


  1. It will be interesting to learn what they find in those holes. It's entirely possible that what they found is instead dump holes where garbage was buried to limit rats and vermin.
    If it is graves the question will be from when.

    1. One old marxist/leftist trick is when someone not "of them" reports on something and/or expresses an opinion, you don't question their facts or opinions - you impune their motivations.

      This story is a good lesson in doing that back to them. I've seen too many raging-leftist stories that (hyperventilation to the contrary) turned out to be nothing-burgers or close to it. But it got traction because no one replying to it thought to ask what was actually known at the time - and by the time everyone figured out there was WAY more to the story than met the eye, it was too late.

      New plan for us - always ask details and confirmations.

    2. In other words, due diligence is not *just* for medical/public health issues.

      -- Maoz

  2. Sorry, if it was reported on CNN, it has to be factually true. No more questions. The science has spoken.

  3. They should bring in a survivor of these atrocities, an unimpeachable eye witness. Elizabeth Liawatha Fauxcahontas Warren.

  4. Good God, don't get me started. I read this piece on a Canadian blog today, which is pretty good. We may have been reading it at the same time. It was a cemetery on a reserve and it had wooden crosses or markers which were destroyed over time by the elements. It was not a mass grave. The 2015 Truth and Reconciliation commissioned by the Canadian government told us that residential cemeteries were not cared for and our federal government wouldn't pay for headstones, hence the wooden crosses that deteriorated over time. It was mass hysteria here in the spring of 2020 on par with what was happening in the U.S. at the time. There were no mass graves anywhere in Canada. The hysteria led to churches being set on fire. Media's role in this: Guilty as sin.

  5. As a former journalist, the misreporting on this story angered me -- because the logical answers were all there. But not much real reporting was done and the damage was done. My anger is squarely focused on the media, which sensationalized this story.

  6. “They took the whole Kamloops nation
    And put em on this reservation
    Took away their way of life
    The Oldsmobiles and the Miller High Life…”

    This is too easy, Big D…

  7. If it was a little further east and the bodies were from 160 years ago, I'd say it might have been the Blackfeet, who had an horrific smallpox epidemic that decimated them so there was never a big war with them, as with the Sioux, Cheyenne, Comanche, Kiowa, and Apaches.

    PS Jeffery is really filling the comment board here.

    1. Dang, ed, you just shot my theory out of the water!

      FWIW, everyone, I had noticed a clear distinction between Ed the Commenter and Ed the Replier. Ed the Commenter always had a reasonable tone. Ed the Replier (to others' comments, as I'm replying here) was the off-the-rails Jeffery-obsessed. My theory was that Ed the Commenter was the real thing and Ed the Replier was someone else stealing his tag to yank everyone's chain. Guess I was wrong. Gotta do more due diligence!

      -- Maoz

  8. I have yet to see ground penetrating radar that was as effective as a crystal ball.
    This has been on the market for 50 years or more and I've never, that's NEVER, seen it effectively demonstrated. I've been in a position to use tax dollars to buy or rent a unit and I'd rather buy a $600 hammer. It would waste less money.

    1. Significant ancient ruins have been found using LIDAR. The jungles of Guatemala have hidden multiple pyramid structures, for example.

  9. "History is written by the winners."

    I read once that history is often written by those with an axe to grind.

    1. History is always written by the liberals. Conservatives go home and get back to work. Look at all the false narratives surrounding the civil war. The donks wrote the history during the first and second world wars.

  10. There were two purposes in writing the fable the way they did. 1) Impugn the Catholic Church, and 2) set up a 'systemic racism' narrative for Canadians.

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