Continues to peddle misinformation about unmarked graves at Kamloops Indian Residential School despite all evidence to the contrary

Brian GiesbrechtChief Rosanne Casimir has finally confessed that her claim that the remains of 215 children, former students of the Kamloops Indian Residential School (KIRS), had been found in unmarked graves on the school grounds was false.

She has finally admitted that a radar device detected only soil anomalies, which could be attributed to tree roots, past excavations, or a variety of other factors. Subsequent research indicates that these anomalies are almost certainly trenches from a septic field installed in 1924 to manage the school’s sewage.

No “unmarked graves,” “human remains,” “bodies,” or “mass graves” were found.

So, everyone in Canada now knows that her May 27, 2021, claim of unmarked graves containing human remains was untrue – everybody except Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his former Indigenous Affairs Minister and now Immigration Minister, Marc Miller.

Prime Minister Trudeau repeated the whopper about unmarked graves at Kamloops at a recent Indigenous event

Photo by Divina Clark

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On June 17, 2024, Prime Minister Trudeau – instead of taking the opportunity to set the record straight – repeated the whopper at an Indigenous event that “unmarked graves” have been found. He has been spreading that misinformation for three years.

You might expect that, since the person who originally made the false claim has admitted that no graves were found, only soil anomalies, Trudeau would take this opportunity to clarify the situation and tell the truth. Instead, on June 17, 2024, he repeated the original falsehood.

It is impossible that Trudeau was unaware that by June 17, 2024, he was spreading misinformation when he claimed that unmarked graves were found.

So, why would he do such a thing? Doesn’t a prime minister have a duty to avoid deliberately misleading Canadians? By now, most Canadians know there were no graves of residential school children at Kamloops.

The only plausible explanation is that the Prime Minister was not addressing all Canadians at that June 17 event. He was specifically speaking to Indigenous Canadians. He was reiterating a falsehood they believed, largely because he and Miller were actively working to perpetuate the hoax.

Everything that Trudeau and his colleagues have done since May 27, 2021 – lowering flags, kneeling with a teddy bear in a regular community cemetery, and providing funds for Indigenous communities to search for missing children he knows were never “missing” – has been to pander to an Indigenous community that essentially believes these false stories about evil priests and secret burials. They believe this anti-Catholic bilge largely because the Trudeau Liberals have encouraged them to do so.

What Trudeau is doing, by deliberately lying to an already marginalized demographic with a history of being lied to by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous politicians, is reprehensible. These people will be outraged when they realize they have been deceived.

While we do not know exactly why Trudeau continues to practice this deception, we do know his actions will have serious and negative consequences in the years ahead.

Brian Giesbrecht, a retired judge, is a Senior Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

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