While I briefly mentioned the announcement that more graves had been found at a Canadian Indian school, I had no idea of the magnitude.
They found 751 unmarked graves.
SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY ONE.
That have been counted so far.
Jesus fucking christ. The Catholic Church has been on a murder rampage for a good long while, haven’t they?
A Saskatchewan commenter here
751 and 215 at TWO school sites. There are many many many of these sites in western Canada. The provincial and federal governments are finally providing the funding for these searches that was recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission several years ago. We can expect to hear similar announcements for some time to come.
The magnitude is shocking. First nations have always said that lots of kids disappeared at these schools, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission provided some (clearly low) estimate numbers, but now the true scope of our (settler community) crimes are coming into the light of day.
I should add that, while we should be rightly pissed at the Catholic Church for this, we should remember that the churches were just the delivery tool for Canadian government policy. The last of these schools closed in the 1990s, so every Canadian should be looking in the mirror.
And there must be further graves that are now invisible.
Ray Ceeya says
The church that wiped out an entire Meso-American empire and every scrap of culture associated with it. As repulsive as this is, I am not surprised.
Starting to look as wonderful as the abandoned cesspool at at Irish Magdalene house, which contained over 800 children’s Graves.
So loved and treasured as to be lovingly and caringly buried in a used cesspool.
A purer example of the biggest bastards buying juvenile bastards has been seen at the Nazi concentration camps mass graves.
“Graves” is a misnomer. The proper term would be “body-dumping sites.”
Ed Seedhouse says
But, well you know. these were all recipients of holy baptism and the holy magical Eucharist administered by the true holy fathers appointed by God. So it’s alright, right? They are guaranteed eventual entry through purgatory to the presence of the holy spirit, there to spend eternity admiring Him (definitely not Her). How lucky they are!!
Hairhead, Still Learning at 59 says
The figures are horrendous, but not as bad as the Magdalene ones. In the Magdalene example these were straight-up murdered babies.
In the residential schools, the bodies will be of three kinds: 1) Murdered persons, 2) victims of villainous neglect, 3) bodies from the regular storms of diphteria, measles, and other illnesses, which, pre-vaccination, swept through communities, taking dozens, if not hundreds of children.
What makes it all worse, though, is that the Catholic Church didn’t bother to dignify these children with an identity of records, simply buried them without notifying either the authorities or there families.
Yeah, Catholic Church — one of the biggest institutional murderers of history. Praise Jesus!
But we can’t have pro-choice politicians taking a sip of wine and eating a magic cracker because that wouldn’t be consistent with the sanctity of life.
The residential schools were run by the churches because they offered to do it more or less for free and the Canadian government didn’t want to spend money.
The churches also didn’t want to spend money so the “schools” were frequently work houses where the kids did all the cooking and cleaning and also manufactured goods for sale.
I don’t think there’s any value to making comparisons of “not as bad as”. We may be able to evaluate the various degrees of suffering each of us has experienced in our own lives, but with these murders, solidarity with the survivors and families has to be unconditional.
I’d resist the compulsion to rank these abuses on some sort of league table of horrors. Even leaving aside the moral reasons for not making these sort of comparisons, it’s also important that we need to be cautious about what we know.
Investigators are still uncovering terrible things about the Magdalene Laundries thirty years after the scandal of the mass grave (singular at first, plural later) broke to the public. The Canadian Indian School scandal has been public since May. It’s going to take decades of forensic inquiry, and even once we’ve exhausted the investigative process there will remain a great deal of critical but unrecoverable information.
Basically, 7 or 8 people died at that school every year for the century it was open.
It wasn’t a very large school.
#6- they are actually graves. Apparently, the church removed the headstones/markers in the 60s (presumably to hide that fact that there were so many of them).
#8- There have been claims that some babies were straight-up murdered, as the priest who’d gotten the child pregnant didn’t want complications.
Just a heads up that this is not the same situation as the Kamloops residential school. While many of these were children from the residential school, the location was also a burial site for the local community and most, or perhaps nearly all, of the graves were marked at one time and the headstones have been removed. These are orderly graves in a dedicated and marked graveyard, not a hidden burial site.
That doesn’t excuse the horrors that were perpetrated in this and many other locations, and as pointed out by NitricAcid @14, the headstones being removed likely was intended to obscure the history of what the church did, if not only the number of deaths.
Really, every Canadian? Immigrants? Other indigenous groups? Canadians that were totally unaware of this until the last few years when the magnitude of the atrocity became publicly known? (public schools don’t teach this stuff) No one should try to defend what happened, and everyone should be working toward reparations and reconciliation, but your moral certainty of universal guilt is not helpful.
Paul Cowan says
Pretty sure my school didn’t have a fucking graveyard when I grew up.
@canadiansteve: While you can quibble with “every Canadian” do you really think that “Canadians can’t be expected to know about any history not taught in public school” means we don’t have any culpability? The erasure of indigenous communities and identity was done for the alleged benefit of the larger Canadian society of which we are all a part.
Also, if someone only learned about residential schools a few years ago it suggests that they have probably never spoken to an indigenous person.
Marcus Ranum says
Nuke the Vatican.
specialffrog: yes, indeed, many Canadians have never spoken to a First Nations person about the history we have. For the most part there isn’t much mixing, which isn’t how you get good conversations going. That it, of course, the result of the genocidal policies of the past few centuries.
just watched a pair of doc. on pbs the other day about mental illness. in it they talked about the very large numbers unmarked graves found at former institutions.
While they were not treated like these children in this post they do share some characteristics being seen as not like they should be different for the important people and not deserving any respect at all if they can not be made to be like everyone else (us) then who cares let them die and do not bother to tell anyone about it. they are all treated as less then the “real people” the ones who count.
Being “church schools” as in this case makes the hypocrisy off the faith even more apparent because there sure as hel does not seem to be any of the usual and expected and much professed reverence for the sacred life and souls of the victims shown then or now.
Looks like one Catholic order is going to finally release the records they have regarding the residential schools they were in charge of.
I’m a bit sceptical this is being done in a way that will reveal the full extent of their abuse and genocide though. Why can’t they release the documents to a 3rd party for digitization? I think that’s a red flag, but I don’t have much faith in the CC to begin with. It’s too little, too late, IMO.
It all makes one think that the arson destruction of a couple of Catholic churches on tribal land in British Columbia should result in medals, not prosecution.
If they ain’t fucking them, their killing them. I’m glad I convinced myself Atheism was the way to go.
As a German, this excuse rings a bell, and not a particularly good one. Not to mention that I have been aware of residential schools for at least 20 years now, so I think it’s fair to expect a higher standard from the people who actually live there.
You can be sure rabid catholic defenders and will ask, “why didn’t the parents say anything??!!?!!” And there will be others who deny that the bodies exist.
The children in those rape camps were kidnapped by the government, taken by force with no legal recourse for the families to prevent it. If the parents complained or tried to recover their children, they would likely be arrested and sent to jail or prison. And even if they were willing to risk arrest and ask to contact their children that were already dead, they were almost certainly met with a wall of silence, threatened into silence. The many thousands of parents nationwide (the likely assumption that there are other mass graves and mass murders) have never been given an answer, suffering for decades.
Two empty catholic churches in southern British Columbia have since been burnt down. Predictably, catholic fanatics and defenders are demanding the Racist Corrupt Misogynistic Plods (RCMP) investigate the arsons first, and do nothing about a thousand dead children.
Their sense of priority is appalling. Investigate the fires and the paint on the Saskatoon church after the children have been identified and their remains returned to their families and communities.
Giliell (#25) –
For decades, informed people knew about the rampant sexual abuse in those “schools”, by priests within communities. The informed also know about the genocides that the catholic cult participated in over the centuries (Rwanda, World War II, crusades, invasions of the Americas, etc.), about the Magdelene Laundries and hundreds of dead babies in Ireland. And probably other atrocities (e.g. Northern Irish orphanages and Jimmy Savile).
I had never heard about mass graves and mass murders on the sites of “residential schools” because of the conspiracy of silence by government, RCMP and catholic cult. But the last thing I am is surprised, nor is anyone who is informed and not living in denial. If the cult has shown us one thing time and again, it’s that there’s no level of depravity they’re incapable of. And to expect to hear about more crimes in the future.