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Sep 06, 2023
First Nations didn’t claim there were deliberately hidden ‘mass graves.’ Media and activists did
First Reading is a daily newsletter keeping you posted on the travails of Canadian politicos, all curated by the National Post’s own Tristin Hopper. To get an early version sent directly to your inbox, sign up here.
In the last week, some international news outlets published claims that Canada has fallen for one of the biggest hoaxes in its history.
“Alleged mass grave of Indigenous children at Catholic schools across Canada contains NO BODIES,” declared Britain’s Daily Mail last Thursday. “No human remains found two years after claims of ‘mass graves’ in Canada,” headlined the New York Post. The American Conservative claimed Canada has perpetrated an “anti-Catholic blood libel.”
In the spring of 2021, a series of ground-penetrating radar surveys near the sites of former Indian Residential Schools uncovered anomalies that appeared to be consistent with children’s graves. In the nationwide protests that followed, more than 60 Canadian churches were vandalized or destroyed, and statues were pulled down in virtually every major city.
The surveys would help spawn the creation of a new holiday, Truth and Reconciliation Day, prompt an official visit by Pope Francis and result in Canadian flags being kept at half-mast for a record-breaking five consecutive months.