Two Catholic churches were destroyed early Saturday morning local time in western Canada. Thus, four Catholic churches located on indigenous lands were burned down in a short time.
Anne’s Church and Chewbacca Church in British Columbia began shortly after the fires broke out. Both buildings were completely destroyed, according to the British BBC The fires are considered “suspicious”.
“Investigations into the previous fires and these two new fires are ongoing, but no one has been arrested or charged with anything,” said Jason Beda of the Canadian Federal Police.
Recently, there have been many discoveries that Aboriginal children of Canada died and were undeservedly buried in connection with boarding school living during the second half of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century. The number of children who disappeared in this way is still unclear, but recently another grave was found where more than 750 children are suspected to have been buried.
In line with news of the treatment of children in boarding schools – which were often run under Catholic auspices – anger against the Catholic Church has also grown.
“I am disturbed”
On Monday, June 21, two wooden Catholic churches in British Columbia in western Canada burned down within a few hours.
And on Saturday, it’s time for two more church fires in the county.
Keith Crowe, Indigenous local government leader in British Columbia’s Similkamen region, told CBC Canada that he received information that there was a fire at Chewbacca Church early Saturday morning. When he reached the site 30 minutes later, the church had already burned down.
– I am disturbed. I can’t see that anything good will come out of this, it will be difficult, he says and adds that many in the area belong to the Catholic Church.
Common feelings in many
According to TT, a demonstration was held later on Saturday in Kamloops, British Columbia. Then the Aboriginal leaders, with relatives and former students of boarding schools, went together in a long caravan to Kamloops where the first horrific case of dead children was found at the end of May.
Sentiments are mixed, Stuart Phillips, who is part of the county’s Indigenous Leadership Council, tells CBC’s TT. On the one hand, he explains that churches are important meeting places, and on the other hand, he describes parishioners with an “extreme hatred” toward the Catholic Church after going to school.
Keith Crowe is also divided on his feelings after the demonstration in Kamloops.
– It feels good that we do this, but I’m still upset about the burning of churches last night.