Why REAL Reconciliation is NOT Happening

Beau and Dian Sutton had a dream.

In 2014, they bought a hilly half-acre wooded lot near Chilliwack River to build a home.

Then someone told them part of their property “might” be an indigenous gravesite.

There were NO grave-markers, NO symbols, NO plaque … NOTHING showing any special acknowledgement or even respect for that particular site.

Then, as CBC reported at the time, a local First Nations chief “felt his ancestors were buried there and that he had a responsibility to protect them.”

“Felt”? “Protect”?

Where were he and all his relations for the years, decades before? There was nothing to mark the gravesites of their former relatives or band members … no symbols, no markers, no plaque, nothing to show respect, let alone “protect”, the men, women, elders and, yes, children buried there.

But the Sutton’s dream turned into a nightmare … after the local band suddenly developed interest in a site they had ignored for decades … or more.

The TRUTH is there are THOUSANDS of First Nations children, adults and elders who lie buried by their own people all across Canada in unmarked graves … without any memorials, monuments or plaques of any kind.

In Saanich, outside Victoria, construction of a $1 million home was halted after discovery of an unmarked Songhees First Nations grave; in Montreal, the site of a 27-story office tower was also stopped when unmarked graves were found; and, in Vancouver, a piece of a paved parking lot at the foot of Granville and Marine Drive was found to be an unmarked Musqueam burial ground.

Anyone who searches the topic on Google will be amazed …and maybe appalled … at how many such instances have been uncovered … First Nations burial sites totally unmarked and then neglected and ignored by First Nations peoples themselves right across Canada.

The TRUTH is unmarked burial sites have long been part of the history, respected tradition and culture of the Indigenous peoples of Canada.

Although you would never know that watching the news lately!

Where are the tears, anger, demands by First Nations activists directed at THEIR OWN leaders, THEIR OWN band councils, THEIR OWN tribal members to fund THEIR OWN identification and proper burials of their own people lying in unmarked graves?

The tragedy of Canadian Residential Schools, and the discovery of unmarked graves, apparently by white school/government officials in the last Century, however, has changed the “conversation”.

Canadians now recognize those schools were a terrible, misdirected, brutal stain on our country’s history …. in the the last century.

But so was the federal government’s treatment of the Chinese, Japanese, East Indians, Jews, Muslims, blacks … and, at various times, even the Irish, Italians and Germans in the 1900s. Not to mention the terrible societal discrimination they ALL faced trying to buy homes in certain areas, get into universities or join social clubs or golf courses.

Canada, like other nations, does indeed have an imperfect past … but let’s keep it real: so does EVERY other nation … and that includes Canada’s First Nations.

But you would never know that watching the one-sided, pandering news coverage by the CBC “public” broadcaster or other Canadian private networks pushing the First Nations’ activist agenda.

I believe millions of Canadians are not buying it … and are actually becoming more resentful of the various governments’ pandering to the radicals.

Civilized peoples seeking REAL reconciliation deal with uncomfortable TRUTHS through dialogue, mutual self-examination and understandings … not the one-sided “holier than thou” attitudes, and finger-pointing Canadians have witnessed from First Nations’ activists and mouthpieces in recent months.

Vandalizing statues, tearing down monuments, disrespecting Canadian national holidays, spitting on Canada’s history (during which, by the way, thousands of First Nations’ heroes served the country loyally and valiantly) or trying to extort millions from the taxpayers will only make things worse, not better.

I put it to you millions of Canadians, in fact, resent what they see happening across the country.

You won’t ever hear THEIR voices on Canada’s intimidated, compromised politicized advocacy-driven “news” media … but talk to REAL Canadians (not just the professional political, pandering community “experts”) and you’ll discover how millions of Canadians are not buying into the First Nations activists’ shakedown agenda.

Which is why REAL RECONCILIATION is not happening across the country!

TRUE reconciliation requires facing REAL TRUTHS and looking forward … not backwards; working together for our future … not rehashing our history; and, not trying to shake down the federal government for more hundreds of millions of dollars!

So why ARE we seeing so many increasing demands, so much agitation, hate, violence, vandalism and destruction?

Because activists, agitators and anarchists see dissention, disruption and violence as an increasingly successful way to extort concessions from governments and also cash in themselves for hundreds of millions of dollars of federal funds.

Weak politicians at all levels are caving in far too easily, willing to pander to too many demands, in the hope of buying peace … and First Nations votes.

More and more Canadians from coast to coast to coast are tiring of what they have been witnessing for months now.

It is NOT the way for First Nations to win friends and influence people … nor ever achieve REAL “reconciliation”.

Harv Oberfeld

(Follow @harveyoberfeld on Twitter for FREE First Alerts to all new postings on the Blog.)

This entry was posted in British Columbia, National. Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Why REAL Reconciliation is NOT Happening

  1. D. M. Johnston says:

    Danegeld! Danegeld, was a tax raised to pay tribute to the Viking raiders to save a land from being ravaged.

    This is what our politicians have been doing with the first nations and the problem is, they are getting greedier and more demanding.

    The residential school fiasco was a result of, not genocide, rather Victorian hubris, that the First nation children must be educated to survive in the the then, modern world. Badly implemented, the government contracted out to religious orders, both protestant and catholic to provide the education.

    This turned out to be a disaster as it seems that the residential schools were a magnet for the most base sort of person, including pedophiles and vicious sadists.

    The unmarked graves, were probably marked, but time has rotted the markers and the graves left undisturbed until now.

    But something curious has happened, I do not hear the first nations demand the World Court, The Hague to be called; I do not hear the demand that forensic autopsies be carried out on the remains; rather I hear calls for more and more money and that makes me go Hmmmmm.

    We all knew bad things happened at the residential schools; hell I knew back in the 80’s when a former teacher at one of these schools told me and when he reported it to the police, he lost his job. His quote; “The Sh** will hit the fan when they exhume the bodies”

    Everyone knew that the bodies were there, the first nations, the churches involved, the RCMP and the provincial and federal governments, yet no one did anything.

    Now, with every new grave sight found, out come the drums and the wailing machine and followed with demands for more and more money. This is pure photo-op.

    The first nations are treated quite well, free homes, no taxes, free health care, free schooling, perpetual financial aid, priority Covid vaccinations … and now, even free housing in Vancouver! So, with all people, they are getting greedier and leveraging more money from the government.

    The residential school episode is tragic and not yet dealt with the the federal government, lest it may embarrass the ruling party, but life is full of tragedy.

    I grew up in Richmond on number 5 road and the area was once known as DP or displaced persons land, the term used for refugees from WW2. One neighbor was German, who had harrowing experiences both with the Gestapo and with the Russians, with the wife and her entire family gang raped and murdered by the Russians, she was the lone survivor. The Russian family next door went through horrors no one could imagine, his eyes told the story. The Latvian on the other side, lived with what remained of his family in a tent in a forested peat bog for 6 years, before escaping to the West; and there was the kindly Jewish couple who were the last of their respective families after witnessing the atrocities of the death camps. It goes on……..

    Whoever is advising the first nations are leading them into a demographic trap, because Canada is a changing and more and more immigration is changing the face of the country and many of those immigrants, especially from India and South Asia have lived in times much harder than the first nations and they have no patience with the first nations. The also work a lot harder, many with 2 or 3 jobs. I predict within the next generation, the first nations will find that no one cares anymore, because those in power will have little connection with this pampered lot and will act accordingly.

    This is going to upset a great many people and I get it and I said the same thing on the Tyee a week ago and got banned.

    There will never be reconciliation because it may stop the money train.

    (Response: Of course, we know … or should …that there are MANY First Nations who have been very successful, well educated, well employed, have developed thriving industries and DO pay their fair share of taxes. But let’s keep it real: there are many others who do not, whose “leaders” real job seems to be looking for new and more ways to get free cash, free resources, free programs, free housings from the various levels of government. Not bad for people who at the same time say there are no treaties in effect! I support REAL reconciliation between all Canadians …but Trudeau just handing out hundreds of millions of dollars (to buy votes?) is not going to achieve it. h.o)

  2. HARRY LAWSON says:


    Before we can have reconciliation all parties must agree as to what reconciliation is.

    Just as with justice you can ask a dozen people what it is and get a dozen different answers..

    Let the pandering begin another election call promising to fix the water ,the drug issues .etc

    (Response: Maybe after the next election, what we should have is a “REAL Truth and Reconciliation Commission” … one that just doesn’t invite, interview and push First Nations’ activist perspectives and demands. What we REALLY need are the TRUE views of all Canadians, including those who believe many First Nations have been responsible for their own misery, and too many Chiefs, band councilors (and all their relations) have wasted, misdirected and even stolen band funds. That’s what is REALLY needed for REAL Reconciliation! h.o)

  3. BMCQ says:

    I just opened the Blog and see the incredible essay written by Harvey at the top of this page, thoughtful, courageous, and well said, once again the Blog Piece Topic should be re written, and broadcast in newspapers, radio stations, and Television news cast right across this country .


    Your piece was absolutely just as “Incredible and as Courageous” as Harvey’s opening essay, take a bow, really really impressive, one of the best posts I have ever read on this Blog ! I hope pandering politicians, media, Race Pimps, and First nations are paying attention .

    All I can add is the following

    Far too much of the populations EU, UK, Canada, and the U.S. have for the moment surrendered to the Poverty and Race Pimps who have made an industry and their income from playing into the continual demands of those squeaky wheels who demand more, more, and more from the Tax Payer .

    As we have already discussed the compliant, complacent, and complicit media PERPETUATE the industries by acting as spokes people for those same Poverty and Race Pimps so the citizens are basically spoon fed PC SJ Warrior propaganda 24/7.

    With no objectivity and no common sense or sound logic being reported by media the population in general are unfortunately left not knowing the truth and the facts without doing a deep dig and most do not bother thus we end up with the CF and climate we have today .

    Then of course there is the fact that honest. capable, fair politicians are afraid to speak out like our host Harvey or DMJ for fear of being branded Racist, Xenophobic, Sexist,
    or any other “Brand of Hater” they may be charged with .

    I caution ALL Pandering politicians, Pandering media, and First Nations to re-read and understand the last three most insightful paragraphs of DMJ beginning with “Whoever is advising First Nations is leading them”………….

    As DMJ states, the end game will not be good for First Nations, time to change it up before it is too late ..

    (Response: It is the media’s JOB and DUTY to tell the TRUTH … giving both or several sides of the story. But that is NOT what we’ve been getting. The public broadcaster CBC (which I often refer to as the Unofficial Voice of the NDP) in my opinion long ago abandoned true reporting for advocacy journalism: PUSHING the First Nations’ demands/agenda/narrative for more than a year now … kind of the far left wing version of Fox News type reporting. The rest of the “national” media are just too intimidated to tell the truth and do any stories that reflect HONESTLY what’s really behind Canada’s Great Divide. I WANT Reconciliation; I want to see poverty, abuse, discrimination eliminated everywhere in Canada (and beyond). BUT that can ONLY happen if the dialogue is HONEST and OPEN … not just conducted by lawyers, professors, community activists, social workers and politicians all pandering to First Nations demands, protests, even violence. h.o)

  4. Marge says:

    My take on the residential school system. I have many personal experiences dating back to the 1970’s and 80’s when the federal government was in charge of residential schools.
    When I was a university student, one of my summer jobs was clerical work for Indian Affairs in Winnipeg. I remember there was one person in charge of managing the repairs to the homes the First Nations People had vandalized on the reserves in Manitoba over the winter season. Every summer walls would have to be repaired; doors fixed and, in some cases, the whole house would have to be rebuilt. The FN people didn’t do any of the repairs, the government sent workers in to do the work. This ran into the millions of dollars but I never ever saw a story from CBC or other media or even the newspapers about the waste that was going on. There was no accountability and no one had to take responsibility on the part of the First Nations other than the feds to fix the problems. I have no idea if this is still going on or not.
    Then I ran short of money for university and took a four-month stint as a teacher at a federal residential school in northern Manitoba. My students were supposed to be grade fours but most of them were 12–13-year-olds. There was also a huge number of students who had major mental health issues (I remember one psychotic boy who would hide in my cupboards all of the time) whose parents had sent them away to be rid of them, sadly. I never saw any abuse from the care workers or the administration towards these kids. But I also never saw any mental health help for the kids who needed it either. A Catholic nun came once a week to teach the kids catechism. I always wondered how this was possible in a federal school and was astonished that the nun taught about John Kennedy, someone these kids didn’t have a clue about. She was not abusive either, just rather daft. I just remember the whole experience being really lonely for me, and I can only imagine how lonely it must have been for the kids.
    My third experience is when I taught at a rural secondary in Manitoba. To get his school numbers up and guarantee more teachers and staff (and more money for himself), my principal would go to the northern reserves with cases of whiskey and beer to entice the chiefs to send kids down to the school. You’d be surprised how many came. They were housed in dormitories and supervised by care workers. Again, I never saw or heard any abuse.

    I also taught in northern Ontario and Alberta where there were many, many poor First Nations kids. I remember getting a lunch box as a “June” gift from the staff, because I was always feeding so many of the kids. The parents would send the kids to school with no lunches, they were usually poorly dressed and poorly looked after. I felt so sorry for them and tried to look after them. In northern Ontario, I remember that the rivers were causing mercury poison but the feds under Trudeau senior never came to clean up the mess. I was warned when I taught there never to drink the water but buy bottled instead. How many of those poor people could afford bottled water?

    My husband has a construction business and he has plenty of stories where the reserves in Chilliwack were being used as dumping grounds for demolition waste. All of this leaches into the Fraser River, killing the salmon. Yet we have the media going on and on as to how well the FN look after the land and how bad the white culture has been to the land. First Nations people are no different than the rest of us, when it comes to making a profit. We also have the issue where the FN chiefs make tons of money as head of the community, while their people live in poverty. We have heard stories where groups run the reserves and anyone who dares to speak out, is run out or soon learns to shut up.

    Steven Harper was the only politician who tried to have the reserves audited for corrupt practices. As soon as Trudeau the younger came to power, he reversed the practice so there is no accountability whatsoever.

    I think the solution (especially as a teacher) to the situation is through education. They are starting to promote FN literature and talk about FN history in schools, more than when I went to school. Building up the culture builds self confidence and instills in all students respect for each other.

    I don’t think the “over the top “coverage by the media helps one bit with reconciliation. Turning the FN people into martyrs isn’t the solution. Neither is pouring tons and tons of money at the problem when most of it will go to chiefs who will waste it on lavish lifestyles. Fixing the water problem would be a good idea. Making the FN people more independent would also go a long way. I almost think the reserve system should be abandoned but I’m not sure how fast that should go.

    This is really long but I wanted to share my experiences.

    (Response: Thank you for this. I believe yours is the HONEST recounting of what you personally saw and experienced and you are exactly the type of person who should form part of any HONEST Reconciliation efforts and discussions! But of course the politicians and the media (especially the “public” broadcaster CBC don’t want you … or anyone else with stories like yours …anywhere near the one-sided reconciliation “discussions”. They want to hear ONLY from those who fit the agenda: First Nations spokespersons, activists and those who did suffer discrimination and/or mistreatment … totally ignoring the legitimate “other side” of the story that has kept Canadians apart for two hundred years. True reconciliation must start with TRUTH …not just more government cheques. h.o)

  5. e.a.f. says:

    Marge offers a balanced look at the situation. Thank you.

  6. BMCQ says:


    You and DMJ have really provided great insight on this topic .

    Thank you for your services in rural Manitoba and Ontario .
    My two sisters were apprehended from a horribly impossible situation on a FN Reserve in B.C. they went through hell for their first ten years, they endured much hardship and abuse the least of which was they had NO front door 12 months of the year . The door was there all right but it was leaned up against the wall waiting for years to be re hung but they never did see that door go back into place their whole first 10 years of life .

    Every year my parents would offer to take them back to visit their father/family but they were frightened to even drive in the direction of that reserve .

    Today my parents would be vilified for abusing FN children by raising them in “White Privileged Culture” !

    You can never win with the Race Hustlers or the Poverty Pimps, they have an ism for everything, even the good .

  7. K.R. says:

    Thanks so much for writing this blog! It’s my favourite one so far. Nobody else has dared to publicly say a word and it’s an important topic with many sub-topics worth discussing. I found Marge’s response very powerful. I bet there are more people annoyed than supportive of what’s happening but the media is playing a dirty role, as are the politicians and steering the conversation for personal gain, therefore people are staying quiet. I hope you’ve opened the door to allow people the comfort to say what they truly feel about this matter and stop the nonsense. It might take a while but hopefully you got it started. Nicely done!

    (Response: If the federal government and the news media want to address REAL reconciliation, they need to talk to all Canadians … not just First Nations activists and others who buy into their version of Canada’s history, without even seeking or hearing others’ experiences, points of view. Yes, some First Nations communities have had problems, but Canada has poured billions into trying to solve many of them. And maybe, just maybe, First Nations too are responsible for some of those programs not working out and millions of dollars going to waste or just disappearing into the pockets of their leaders and all their relations. That’s what a REAL Truth and Reconciliation Commission should take on! h.o)

  8. Gilbert says:

    This is an amazing essay. There must be many unmarked graves of indigenous children all across Canada. Had these been discovered 50 years ago, I doubt the media would have paid much attention. In today’s climate, though, every discovery of an unmarked grave gives activists more reason to hate the Catholic Church and burn churches all across the country. Imagine if mosques were burnt instead. I doubt it would take Prime Minister Trudeau one week to say it was unacceptable.

    I wonder if Catholics in Canada are simply too apologetic over church abuses of the past to condemn the burning of churches. It’s true that the Catholic Church ran many residential schools, but it wasn’t the only church to do so, and the schools were run with the assistance of the government. If I’m not mistaken, many of the abuses took place with Liberal governments in power. However, no one seems to blame the government for what happened. Is it because the federal government can offer large amounts of financial compensation? Isn’t it also interesting that no one is burning government buildings?

    There is far too much corruption on native reserves. I agree with Marge that the only person who tried to do anything about it was Stephen Harper, but Justin Trudeau reversed his excellent legislation. It’s true that Stephen Harper didn’t provide clean drinking water on every reserve, but unlike Justin Trudeau, he never promised to do so.

    It’s time to eliminate the corruption on our reserves, unite Canadians of all backgrounds and stop throwing money at every problem in the belief that it will go away. When our politicians stop trying to please every radical activist, we can actually make progress.

    (Responses: There unfortunately are thousands of unmarked First Nations graves across the land. Many are very old …but that should not prevent asking questions: why have succeeding generations neglected, abandoned and in many cases forgotten them? As for those buried around Residential Schools, where were their parents, their band councils, their chiefs when they went missing? Imagine if it was your child! All of them should have been yelling like hell back then when they “disappeared”, filed police reports, held demonstrations, demanded answers: yet I have seen no evidence that happened at all. This is NOT to excuse what happened … but just to suggest REAL reconciliation requires critical reviews of the actions of both sides of this terrible chapter of our history, not just blame the white man for everything… and attempt to cash in h.o)

  9. Not Sure says:

    I am no expert here, but this is beginning to sound like a venting session which may be the reason Why REAL Reconciliation is NOT Happening.

    Harry made the best point so far: Before we can have reconciliation all parties must agree as to what reconciliation is.

    Harvey who says he wants reconciliation replies to Harry:

    Maybe after the next election, what we should have is a “REAL Truth and Reconciliation Commission” … one that just doesn’t invite, interview and push First Nations’ activist perspectives and demands. What we REALLY need are the TRUE views of all Canadians, including those who believe many First Nations have been responsible for their own misery, and too many Chiefs, band councilors (and all their relations) have wasted, misdirected and even stolen band funds. That’s what is REALLY needed for REAL Reconciliation!

    So yes Harry, we need a definition of what reconciliation looks like because Harvey is clearly talking about two different issues.

    Again, I am no expert, but the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as I understand it was set up to look at the damaging legacy of the residential school system. The legacy involves more than just the damage that was done to the individuals who went there. It is multi-generational and includes education, health, justice, economics, opportunity etc.

    I tried to find something that would define reconciliation simply enough. That was hard, so I ended up with the Canadian Encyclopedia. https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/reconciliation-in-canada

    “The TRC went on to say that in order for reconciliation to happen in Canada, “there has to be awareness of the past, an acknowledgement of the harm that has been inflicted, atonement for the causes, and action to change behaviour.”

    We are now more aware, we are starting to acknowledge, and now we need to act. What that action involves is (sorry to say) complicated. This will not happen overnight. And yes we need leadership both Indigenous and non-Indigenous to get us to where we hope we should be.

    (Response: I believe the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was a farce. Its terms of reference, its members, its focus, the witnesses called, the “experts” consulted, the community representatives invited were ALL pre-designed, I believe, to reach pre-determined liberal (or Liberal?) ideological and politically correct conclusions … patronizing and promoting the First Nations’ agenda … all designed so Trudeau could shell out hundreds of millions of dollars … and buy their votes. I believe in REAL reconciliation between First Nations and other Canadians … but that will require facing UGLY truths and confronting UGLY aspects of history on BOTH sides … something Trudeau/Liberals (and probably all the other parties) have neither the interest or spine to tackle. h.o)

  10. Elle says:

    Thank you for doing this. It takes a lot of courage because any conversation in other media is immediately shut down and anyone who questions what is going on is called names. Who has not heard the usual “systemic racism”, “genocide”, etc? The courts, media and politicians have started to side with the natives, so they are expanding their demands. Just wait till UNDRIP takes effect.

    Reasonable natives are disputing the claims made in the media by insisting they are not mass graves and that they have been aware of them for some time. They have not just been discovered. Also claims that these are all babies and children that have been killed by the whites is not true. These were cemetaries that surrounding communities used also. We do have to wait to see the truth before jumping to conclusions. My parents are in their 90’s and they still go to tend the graves and cemetaries of their parents. They are finding that there are fewer and fewer people to help anymore. When certain generations are gone, and their descendants are gone, graves get neglected and people get forgotten. It happens everywhere.

    This is dividing Canadians like never before. Anyone who is white is being blamed for things they did not do. All the crying and appologizing and throwing loads of money at the situation is emboldening the truly activist people. We are accused of being “settlers” and being told that we have to give their land back. It is very upsetting. I would like to see this resolved in some satisfactory manner, but I don’t see that happening. This is a terrible blight on the history of Canada and many people suffered for it. It has to be fixed. I may not have expressed myself very well, but I appreciate the forum you have provided so some of us can get some things said that we are afraid to say anywhere else.

    (Response: Hardly a day goes by that Trudeau doesn’t say something to WIDEN the gap between peoples, ENCOURAGE the First Nations’ activists and STIMULATE more claims and demands…. so he can promise/hand them hundreds of millions dollars more. I believe he’s doing it for POLITICAL purposes … and it will likely buy him a huge portion of the Indigenous vote. The question is Where is O’Toole and Where are the Tories on all this? They too seem so weak … afraid to stand up to the co-opted and compromised media … by actually challenging some of the totally one-sided false narratives, demands and even violence from First Nations extremist activists. Reasonable First Nations leaders MUST realize this is NOT the way to achieve REAL Reconciliation with other Canadians … especially the millions who do not buy the CBC’s biased, advocacy propaganda, disguised as “news”. h.o)

  11. Stu de Baker says:

    A very hard hitting, gutsy piece Harvey.
    I do take issue to this, though: “As for those buried around Residential Schools, where were their parents, their band councils, their chiefs when they went missing? All of them should have been yelling like hell back then when they “disappeared”, filed police reports, held demonstrations…”

    Not to give away your age, but you were there. It was all at a different time in our history and those persecuted, indigenous peoples, would have felt no different than any other marginalized group, back then and in many places even today.

    Why doesn’t any person or group speak out about abuses by spouses, governments and entire populations? Fear! Fear of not being heard, fear of not being believed; fear of the very authority which is snatching your children and systemically erasing your existence.

    There have been many reports of elders asking questions, at the time and subsequently, only to be met with shrugs and stonewalling.
    The GG appointment says all there is to say about Mr. Trudeau.
    Another time, no suspicion from me. Now, it doesn’t pass ant test, let alone the smell test.
    Upon finishing the above, I wanted to check the name of the new AG and the first thing that popped up was this:
    “Greeks bearing gifts” https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2021/7/11/dear-governor-simon-beware-of-greeks-bearing-gifts
    Then, before hitting “Post comment” I checked to see who had joined while I was busy;
    Elle, makes some very good points, but once again, Not Sure makes the money shot.

    (Response: We agree: “It was all at a different time in our history and those persecuted, indigenous peoples, would have felt no different than any other marginalized group, back then and in many places even today.” As I stated in my piece, Canada (and the whole world, actually) was a much different place last Century. Here’s what I wrote: “Canadians now recognize those schools were a terrible, misdirected, brutal stain on our country’s history …. in the the last century.
    But so was the federal government’s treatment of the Chinese, Japanese, East Indians, Jews, Muslims, blacks … and, at various times, even the Irish, Italians and Germans in the 1900s. Not to mention the terrible societal discrimination they ALL faced trying to buy homes in certain areas, get into universities or join social clubs or golf courses.”
    But we don’t see ANY of those groups coming forward NOW, stating what we (and they) already knew and demanding all kinds of special recognition, apologies or, in the case of the First Nations, hundreds of millions of dollars to relocate hundred year old burial sites as well as millions in “compensation”. Especially when they themselves have so many unmarked graves in their own backyards! What we should have are special monuments/markers to show respect for those at rest there … and, to achieve REAL reconciliation … looking FORWARD not repeatedly rehashing the distant past and a TRUE dialogue between ALL Canadians … not just the “politically correct” elites willing to apologize to/for ANYTHING Indigenous activists drag up as a means of cashing in …again … to the tune of hundreds of millions more federal dollars. h.o.)

  12. Stu de Baker says:

    So now the degenerates among us, which at times seems in the majority, muster up anything that will float and assault the tiny Penelakut Island, which made the news yesterday.

    And we wonder why they are pushing back; feeding us our own bathwater.

  13. nonconfidencevote says:

    Marge’s story reminded me of forgotten stories of my youth.

    The Rez in PEI was on a secondary hwy.
    Ramshackle houses and derelict cars were my most vivid recollection as a child.
    My uncle explained that the govt fixed a few houses every year and the families would move from one to the next.
    They would use the wood from the old( 5 years old) destroyed one to burn as firewood in the stove in the new one.

    Govt welfare created this mess.
    Why does anyone think more govt “welfare” will fix it?

    Professional protesters and anarchists are driving the govt. because the politicians are too spineless to say ANYTHING.
    No common sense.
    Eventually Trudeau will be kicked in the financial pants by the foreign lenders who demand fiscal responsibility.

    I think its too late.
    Our taxes to pay for all this appeasement will be horrendous.
    Look on the bright side.
    Trudeau and his father’s statues will be next…..

    (Response: I have no objection to compensation for individuals who suffered REAL injury, trauma, mistreatment at the hands of government or religious schools. But when we realize we’re talking about a time up to a hundred years ago or more, the TRUTH is people in general (including kids) died all over North America and Europe etc. at much higher rates from all kinds of illnesses, diseases, lack of medical knowledge and/or medications. Not everything warrants apologies or compensation a hundred years later! Of course, if there were abusers at Residential Schools who are still alive today, charge them whenever and wherever possible. But let’s keep it real: a lot of the current tumult and outcry is politically and financially motivated … spurred on by the media (especially the CBC) and at some point, the federal (and provincial governments) have to “keep it real” and stop just caving to the activists and/or the agitators…. even if they feel it buys them votes. h.o)

  14. nonconfidencevote says:

    One other comment.
    Did anyone notice the Global 6pm News Hour on Monday night?
    Not one mention of the Residential Schools in an entire hour.
    No 5-10 minute rehash, blame sessions or social shaming
    Just the News.
    It took a crane collapse in Kelowna.

  15. D. M. Johnston says:

    I do not want to reenter this fray but: again the graves at these schools were not secret, rather they are being rediscovered and I think being rediscovered for crass politcal reasons.

    Until there is a full forensic autopsies done on the remains, to find out the real cause of death, we should stop with accusations.

    I do not like being labeled a degenerate because I don’t follow the politically correct parade of the “higher purpose persons”, among us. I am a free thinker, tempered with many contacts made throughout my life and most of them made great impressions on how I think and decode the world around us. In fact, I could say I have been that proverbial fly on the wall.

    I fully believe that the World Court, The Hague be involved to oversee the exhumations and autopsies and lay charges if need be.

    I believe that the survivors, especially those who were brutalized, raped, or suffered other nefarious acts, should receive compensation paid for by the Catholic Church or other religious orders involved, in the form of a pension. If the churches refuses, seize church land and lease back the churches and use the income to pay the compensation.

    Do not use the word genocide, it wasn’t genocide for if it were, there would be no first nations complaining today.

    Do not use the word colonization as that train has left the station about 150 years ago. If it was not for colonization, we would not be here and another group, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, would have grabbed the land instead. (See genocide)

    Stop distorting history to suit politcal ends as lies repeated often enough tend to be believed.

    Stop the photo-ops, again, as I said before, everyone knew the bodies were there, just over time, what grave markers were there has long been reduced to produce.

    The pandering, the hypocrisy, the sanctimony, all humbug, as the great grift continues.

    As I have said before, whoever is advising the First nations, is leading them to a very dark end, as the public is swiftly growing tired of this side show. The residential schools were tragic, they were evil, and those still alive who contributed to this vile bit of Canadian history should be exposed and if found criminally involved be charged. But this never ending bodies, which were never lost, found has just got to stop because the public will soon want to wash their hands of it and that would include any reconciliation.

    As a historical note, read some history of the lesser Public Schools in England, during the 18th and 19th century and I would wager the abuse rate at those schools would rival that of the residential schools.

    There is a lot more that I could say, but won’t. Nuff said.

    (Response: There are two basic issues in the current news coverage: the Residential Schools and the unmarked graves. Both relate to terrible events/policies that date back many, many decades. Yes, anyone who can prove they particularly suffered or were abused should be compensated by the Church and/or government (whichever was in charge at the time) and their perpetrators, if still alive, should be prosecuted. And maybe they should sue their own chiefs, bands, councils too who went along with the program, instead of refusing, holding protests and/or hiring lawyers to raise hell about the schools and especially the abuse when it became known and the disappearances, when they became common. The Residential School graves also are a sad legacy … but so are the thousands of graves across the country abandoned and neglected by First Nations themselves. Instead of digging them all up, I believe suitable historical markers and monuments at each site would be a better tribute. REAL reconciliation needs to look forward, with a goal of working together to make the future better, not backwards, with a goal of just cashing in! h.o)

  16. NVG says:

    @nonconfidencevote et el

    Who else could slide along that stabilizer beam from the crane tower to the balcony?

    Would it be ironic, less painful, disappointing to you all, if the five deaths in Kelowna’s collapsing crane turns out to be Mohawk ironworkers?

    Before you say Nay, three generation have suffered from Residential ‘Schooling’.


  17. nonconfidencevote says:

    “Who else could slide along that stabilizer beam from the crane tower to the balcony?”


    I worked as a High rise window cleaner for 10 years in Downtown Van.
    I would have walked that 4 inch beam.

    As for the CBC and their endless, breathless, social media “reports”.
    I take their biased, socialist, politically correct reporting with a well deserved grain of salt.

    And apparently I’m not the only one who thinks this way if their abysmal ratings are any indication after we taxpayers pump $1.5 BILLION dollars every year into their “Woke” bleating heart.

    Cancel the CBC and cut all govt advertising $$$ to the rest of them.
    Let them report actual facts instead of telling me how I should think, talk and act.

    Covid 1984 indeed.

  18. HARRY LAWSON says:


    I think before we can have any dialogue regarding conciliation the Indian act must be done away with. .there are over 600 reserves ,bands covered by this historically racist legislation.thousands upon thousands indigenous without status due to the act. We also can’t forget the issues that the metis have to live with.

    Are there easy solutions no

    (Response: I don’t believe the great divide between First Nations and other Canadians can be solved by legislative changes. The truth is there is racism … on both sides (hear that media … both sides!!). There are also economic conflicts and other TRUTHS no one wants to face: many people who work (of all backgrounds) hate to see others sitting on their asses, demanding others take care of them; further exacerbated when taxpaying Canadians see many First Nations (not all) blocking projects, resource industries that will help pay for social services they demand; and, finally millions of Canadians (not interviewed by the timid media) get pissed off when they see politicians handing out hundreds of millions of dollars anywhere, that seem to disappear into some great abyss, while no actual problems get solved. THAT is what people believe … and THAT is what must be dealt with if any REAL reconciliation is to happen. h.o)

  19. nonconfidencevote says:

    Whats old is new again.
    Residential Schools have been talked about for decades.


    The cynic in me may suggest that some First Nations may be playing this latest rediscovered angst for all the cash it may generate?

    (Response: I believe millions of Canadians share your view … although you would never know that by the intimidated, one-sided propagandistic media coverage of the issue. Or the refusal of our politicians to address the REAL problems dividing First Nations and other Canadians … which would require examination/criticism of BOTH sides! h.o)

  20. HARRY LAWSON says:

    Regarding your response

    Is there racism from all sides ? yes

    Can you solve racism by legislative change? no .If so racism would be solved ..

    However the government should not have inherently discriminatory legislation on the books.. That needs to be changed. Both Trudeau senior wanted to change it with the white paper 1969 if memory serves me as well as Harper wanted to do away with the act ..

    The question is what do replace the act with that ensures true reconciliation.?

    (Response: I have no great knowledge of the details of the Indian Act, but I understand parts of its deny First Nations people control over their own lands, housing etc … so that is problematic. BUT other provisions give First Nations their tax free status and other benefits the rest of us don’t enjoy, so I assume it was eliminated, some FN members might be upset by that. h.o)

  21. BMCQ says:

    There has already been more “Common sense” and good sound logic from most contributors on this Blog Topic than what we see from pandering politicians and a fully “Woke”, complicit, and corrupt media from all major media outlets who are pushing an agenda they feel will get support from voters at the ballot box sometime later this fall . Shameful at best !

    I truly hope those pandering politicians and media are following this blog at all times but especially now .

    I also hope that the voter and tax payer are paying attention and fully engaged on this, they need to make their vote count this fall .

    Yes, Stephen harper enacted legislation that provided transparent published financial statements for each and every FN Band right across this country . FN Leadership were required to post the Financial Statements on-line and in the Bands Office for all Band Members to see .

    PM Justin extinguished that meaningful legislation within two weeks of ascending his throne . No accountability for First nations Leadership and none for the Canadian PM, despicable . Since that time First nations Leaders went back to their old ways, paying large sums of money to insiders, family, and other hangers on without any accountability to Canadian Tax payers or their own Band members . again, despicable .

    One last thing here .

    Just think what Canadians could do for Seniors right across this country from coast to coast to coast with just a fraction of the Tax payers hard earned money which is being “Shoveled of the Back of a Truck” each and every day to Special interests and the First Nations, Poverty, and P SJ Warrior Industries !

    With just a fraction of that mostly wasted money Seniors who built this country might have Dental Care, pre-paid prescriptions, and better quicker access to medical care for the last few years of their life, just think what those few improvements could mean to the quality of life for those Seniors that built this country .

    The Conservatives need to get their act together and oppose, they could begin by appealing to Seniors who would be more than happy if they received just a fraction of what Carpetbagging Politicians provide First Nations and other Special Interests.

    “Accountability”, have our Political Masters and their Media accomplices lost the meaning of that word ?

    (Response: You are absolutely correct when you point out Harper instituted transparency regarding First Nations funding: many First Nations members themselves had found it impossible to find out where their own funds had gone, how much of it had been wasted or misdirected or even stolen by their own chiefs, band councilors and family members. I believe Trudeau’s decision to end that openness was a terrible mistake … that robbed band members of information that should be their absolute right to view. h.o)

  22. NVG says:

    I worked as a High rise window cleaner for 10 years in Downtown Van.
    I would have walked that 4 inch beam. – nonconfidencevote

    Ten years ago. Hmmm

    So if you knew, back then, that you had probably just lost four or your fellow window cleaners, would you still have walked that beam?

  23. nonconfidencevote says:

    Well the First Nations better hurry because in the next 5 to 10 years I feel that the majority of Premiers and the Prime Minister wont be white, or males with a “colonial mindset” ……. whatever THAT is.

    They best hurry before “blameless” take charge OR before the cash cow that is Canada is broke..

  24. nonconfidencevote says:

    (Edited..getting way off topic …which is reconciliation)

    A “Monday Morning” accident.
    Statistically the worst time period for work related fatal accidents.
    Disassembling a high rise crane does involve risk.

    (Edited…off topic)

  25. JC says:

    Thanks for having the courage to write this column. For the last few weeks, I’ve honestly began to feel as if I was living in an authoritarian state, where only the party line is allowed to be uttered and any dissenting view is a thought crime.

    The residential schools and the consequences of that policy are obviously a terrible part of the history of the country. But the response that came after the awful discovery in Kamloops has been close to hysterical at times.

    I really recommend a blog called Beyondtheyellowtape. Its written by a former police officer who worked for the RCMP here in the Lower Mainland in the field of Major Crimes. He made a lot of interesting points, two in particular:

    1. The term ‘Genocide’ has been used a lot in the coverage of the Kamloops discovery. Note the use of the term ‘mass graves’ in the early days of the story. Very soon after, the coverage shifted to ‘unmarked individual graves’. It was disingenuous of certain politicians and media outlets to use the term ‘mass graves’; I think it was designed to stir up images of the Concentration Camps in Occupied Europe or the Pol Pot atrocities.

    2. According to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, the mortality rate in the Residential Schools for their entire history ranges between 2.13% and 2.7%. If one takes the UN 1948 Convention on Genocide as the legal standard to define Genocide (and it is the international standard recognized by virtually all Nation states), the Residential School system (as awful as it was) doesn’t come close to meeting the standard for Genocide. By comparison, the mortality rate at Auschwitz was nearly 90% and the rate in the Soviet Political Prisons in the 1930s ranged from 30% to 50%.

    Justice Sinclair’s final report described the residential school system as a ‘cultural genocide’. But again, the UN Convention on Genocide specifically excludes the notion of ‘cultural genocide’ from the Convention.

    Reconciliation is something we should aspire to but it can’t happen if the basic facts are going to be politicized and distorted. As you said, resentment from the majority will be the result.

    (Response: In an earlier blog Comment on the disgraceful attempts to “cancel” Canada Day because of Canadian treatment of First Nations I wrote that I doubted “Europe’s Jews, gypsies, gays or any Cambodians, Bosnia Muslims or China’s Uighurs would call that “genocide”. Any attempt to equate the two insults and denigrates the REAL suffering of people around the world rounded up and slaughtered by machine guns, cyanide gas or being burned alive in locked buildings! Canada needs REAL reconciliation … but that will NEVER come until pragmatic First Nations leaders wrest control of the dialogue from militants, anarchists and shake-down activists talking only to pandering politicians, liberal “experts” and CBC propagandists … and have an honest conversation with REAL fellow Canadians about what has been done wrong by BOTH sides in the past …and how we can build a better future together. h.o)

  26. e.a.f. says:

    Harvey, your article is from the perspective of a European descent Judo Christian, which is some what different than that of the Indigenous People. Indigenous People did bury their dead, but their traditions were different from ours, as in Europeans. They didn’t have caskets back in the day. They buried their dead, but they didn’t have formal grave yards as we know them. People where buried in the area they died, but many Indigenous People were nomatic. They returned to the same area at different times of the year, but there was no “grave yard” as we know it. so lets get over our “white” attitude towards Indigenous People and their burial practices, memories of where the graves are, etc..

    Lets have a look at what the “whites” and various levels of government did to Indigenous grave yards which came later, following the establishment of residential schools and various churches. Many Indigenous grave yards were flooded by dams here in B.C. They flooded the Indigenous People’s homes, their hunting territory, their churches and their grave yards. No care was taken, just expropriated and flooded. What do you think is under some of those lakes WAC created.

    APTN had an interesting documentary on the other evening about bands in Northern Ontario and their reliance on diesel powered electrical plants. One community was working towards using solar and wind. What was interesting was that their land had been flooded for 3 Ontario dams, but the reservation was never permitted to be hooked into the electrical grid, so know they are taking things into their own hands. One of the “sore spots” for the person in charge of the project was when they created the dams they flooded the Indigenous communities grave yards, which were in use. During the flooding of the cemetery, one of the graves popped open, the casket came to the surface, and the body of the young girl who had been buried 3 months before floated out. No one in the greater community seemed too upset or interested.

    There are two types of Indigenous grave sites. The ones which were used prior to the imposition of “European culture” and then the ones used after the imposition of European culture. So in the e.g. you give of the couple who bought some land, well that was most likely historical burial grounds and yes, the location is rather vague because its not like they were marked, with grave stones, crosses or fences. Its buyer beware. Remember, the Indigenous People have lived here for a very long time and not every one remembers exactly where the grave sites are. Its much like graveyards they still find in Europe when they are excavating when building. No one seems too upset that those Europeans forgot they had bodies buried there several hundreds or thousands of years ago, so why get our white noses out of joint about Indigenous People not knowing exactly where ancient burial places are.

    Grave yards in modern times are either owned by the City, as in Vancouver, or they are private companies. Of course they’re well kept with markers, etc. because people pay for that.

    Now if you can’t afford that you got the pauper’s grave and no marker. So what is the difference really. No one knows where their ancestor is buried exactly if they are in a paupers grave so why should Indigenous People have to remember where their ancestors were buried a very long time ago.

    We “other Canadians” haven’t exactly treated Indigenous grave yards well. We flooded them. Yes, Indigenous People are going to be upset and yes the only way really these days to be compensated for wrongs is via money. Its what makes things even in our society. When you consider an Indigenous reservation not having electricity from a grid which goes by them, and 3 dams in the area, you know there is something wrong. We have to look no further than Winnipeg, where because the City of Winnipeg wanted something a reservation was cut off from clean water for 40 some odd years. And now you suddenly want reconncilliation. Ya, not so much. Germany is still paying reparations. Why shouldn’t Canada. Are we so special?

    I personally don’t see reconcilliation happening for a long time because the discrimination continues. In my opinion this article adds to the problem. Ever since I was a kid, on vacation, I’d be interested in old grave yards. A grave yard doesn’t have to be Indigenous to be abandoned. You can find small old graveyards around the province which have not been kept up. One is outside of Greenwood. No one has weeded it, kept up the crosses made out of wood. It looks no different than some rural Indigenous graveyards.

    Its costs money to put a metal or stone marker on a grave. Many simply can’t afford it. People hand make crosses. Families drift off, some times no one is left from the family to look after the grave. We of the middle class hire others to do it. The cemetery companies mow the lawns, keep things looking nice, florists deliver the flowers at the appropriate times and dates. Its a question of money.

    When we look back at the mercury in lakes in Ontario and its impact on the health of Indigenous people, the government didn’t care. It was researchers from Japan who figured out what the health problems were being caused by. The problem still hasnt’ been resolved and you’re concerned about grave yards and reconciliation? Give me a call when the mercury problem has been solved. Then we can talk about reconciliation.

    (Response: Really terrific background/information! Thanks. But what stands out for me is your line “Now if you can’t afford that you got the pauper’s grave and no marker. So what is the difference really.”. Exactly! There are/were MANY unmarked graves … throughout North America and Europe etc. … BUT I believe millions of Canadians are skeptical when they NOW see FN ancestors … up to a hundred years later …coming forward, “revealing” what has actually been known for decades and then BLAMING current society and/or the government, demanding those in really old unmarked graves be dug up, moved who knows where and, here’s the key that there be hundreds of millions of dollars shelled out to FN along the way. And naive or politically exploitive politicans and community activists USING the issue to obtain greater powers or just buy votes. What we should do is erect markers, monuments and plaques noting the historical facts and move ahead with REAL reconciliation to build a better future for all Canadians coast to coast to coast. h.o)

  27. e.a.f. says:

    Harvey, in your response to Stu de Baker, you mention other groups in Canada who suffered discrimination, etc. The difference between them and the Indigenous People is, this was/is Indigenous land. The others came here after the French and English decided this land belonged to them. It might also be pointed out, none of the discrimination you mentioned has gone on as long as the discrimination directed towards the Indigenous People

    WE have all heard the stories of Indigenous People “destroying” the houses the government “gave them”. Well some of those houses look no different from the houses of European descent people who had been through similar things. If a person has an substance abuse problem, you find holes punched into the walls regardless of ethnic back ground. If they’re poor those holes stay there. there isn’t money to repair them.

    Part of the problem is the houses sent to reservations were never meant to be in those climates. The houses were also over crowded and whether a house is over crowded by Indigenous People or other People, the same amount of damage gets done in that type of climate.

    One of the siblings tells an interesting story about a documentary she watched. The people in a northern reservation were sent stoves for their houses. Electrical stoves on a reservation which didn’t have electricity. Now the point of the documentary was to point out how the Indigenous were destroying the stoves. They simply moved them outside and used them as we used to use wood stoves. Like what else where they supposed to do. For decades Indian Affairs had no idea how Indigenous People lived and didn’t care either.

    I remember well how John Duncan used housing as a weapon during the Harper years. When one band won a court case against his department, he refused to sign off on 16 new houses the band desperately needed.

    All of this stuff, people don’t get over easily and the mental suffering Indigenous People have gone through becomes generational. Now I just can’t figure out why Jews get to have generational pyschological problems because of the Holocaust, but Indigenous People don’t. As one shrink told me, they are now seeing third and fourth generation Jews dealing with the impact of the Holocaust. In New York City they have support groups for Jews who are descendants of Holocaust survivors. Here in Canada we did nothing, just blamed the Indigenous People for the misery we perpetrated on them, which in a manner was their Holocaust. The one thing the federal government failed to address and provide help with was the pyschological damage which was done and continues to be done. Until you provide people with mental health professionals to get through this mothing will change.

    We have recently seen a number of news stories about how Indigenous women were treated in hospitals. And you want there to be reconcilliation? Not going to happen until some basic issues are resolved first and an apology isn’t going to cut it. The finding of the bodies of the children across the country is simply going to make things worse. I do wonder if the victims of the residential schools were ever provided the same type of pyschological help as others were. No you say. Well there is the problem.

    As to statues tossed in the water, its not nice, but then the treatment of the Indigenous wasn’t “nice” either. Some may refer to these statue tosses as radicals, etc. I think of them as doing the right thing. Like people in the southern U.S.A. who want statues of Confederates gone. We could simply remove them from public spaces and put them in museums and explain “everything” about them, not just the things which Europeans thought was so “good” about them. Lets tell the truth. Some of them were awful people, who did awful things. Why shouldn’t they toss the statues into the ocean. If you put a statue up of Hitler or one of his buddies, you can bet I’d be tossing it in the ocean also. I’d probably tie a chain around it and pull it down with my truck. No one would think I’d done a bad thing, except perhaps some racists, so why is it so bad for Indigenous People to toss statues of people who oppressed them and made their lives a living hell for a couple of centuries.

    (Response: What a fascinating debatable observation “this was/is Indigenous land”. Who says? Archeological evidence indicates First Nations originally “immigrated” across the lands/sea bridge from Siberia … or even northward from South America. So weren’t they originally “squatters” too? They sure didn’t “buy” the land from anyone! 🙂 We were ALL immigrants … at one time! However, going back that far will do nothing to solve the great questions of TODAY. As I stated, I support and yearn for REAL reconciliation of ALL Canadians, so we can move forward together, addressing poverty, inequality, racism in all forms everywhere in our great land. But I must keep it REAL: we will NOT get there by only one-sided “mea culpa” propaganda promulgated by “liberal” types, excusing/supporting those who pour paint/spit/tear down Canadian historical statues or demanding hundreds of millions of dollars that many Canadians believe will just disappear into the great FN abyss, without really solving the great poverty and social problems facing them. h.o)

  28. BMCQ says:


    Great post ! your factual information and insight provides Canadians of all ethnicities, religions, skin tones, genders and the rest with much of what they need to get a serious understanding and truths of many of the facts not really reported or made clear to us by pandering [politicians, media, Poverty Pimps and Race Hustlers .

    As has been pointed out many times hee those mentioned DO NOT seem to want the
    Great Unwashed to know and understand truth/facts, they only want the citizens to understand and accept the narrative foisted on them by the suspects just mentioned .
    How despicable and how disgusting .

    Then we must not forget the indoctrination of students by educators K through University Graduation, teachers are promoting the same Social Justice Warrior PC
    Leftist Activist as media and leftist politicians, what chance do the students have ? It is now so bad parents that do not agree with the indoctrination are afraid to speak out against it . Thank god that at least in the U.S. courageous parents are speaking out and pushing back against Critical Race Theory, it appears that those American Parents are finally willing to say “No More” . NO I am not saying all educators have bought in but lets be honest here, the ones that do not agree are like many parents they are afraid to speak out .

    I may be mistaken but I am absolutely shocked that so many on this blog have spoken out in support of Harvey’s courageous and excellent essay at the top of this page, congratulations .

    I read several different papers and take in a lot of news/current events each day and it seems to me that Canadian papes and media are intentionally ignoring several facts/truths, and they are also manipulating many news stories concerning the First Nations industry which does no one any good .

    How would you like to be a First Nations Child and being told by media, Race Hustlers
    and Poverty Pimps in the Indian/First Nations Industry that you are in danger, hated, disrespected, not capable, and have no future because the Evil White Man hates you ? Think of how those many Precious Young Canadians feel, how much would you be looking to your future . That is a biproduct of the culture created by media, the Race hustlers, and the Poverty pimps . Shame on them ! Those same young F/N children deserve much better from their Government, Media, and the rest, they are doing those children a disservice at best, and then compromising their future hopes and dreams .

    It is only my opinion but please take a minute and see what another non Canadian media outlet has produced regarding the Church Burnings, why can’t Canadian Media put forward something like this ?

    (Edited…off topic)


    I strongly everyone here re read the comments posted by JC yesterday, they are factual insightful and explain a lot . JC makes excellent points about the grave sights themselves, especially the so called “Mass and Unmarked” graves, he is correct .

    After you read the JC post please ensure everyone you know reads all of the posts right from the top where Harve4y originally took this story on, Canadians need to ask questions and they need to demand the truth from the Federal Liberal Gov, the Virtue Signaling PM, the B.C. NDP Gov, other provincial governments, Media, Special interests who are manipulating and profiting from the troubles .

    Yes, where are the Conservatives ?

    Think about this for just a minute . The Conservatives are speaking out but Media ARE NOT reporting the story or the facts, they want the Conservatives left out in the wilderness on this so they do not cover the Conservatives or their Leader O’Toole .

  29. Not Sure says:

    There is so much here that I don’t even know where to begin. So let’s just try to clarify your position.

    You said that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was a “farce” that they didn’t hear from all Canadians, that the outcome was predetermined so that Trudeau could shell out billions of dollars.
    The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was set up specifically to study the legacy of the Residential School System. It ran from 2008 to 2015, except for the issuing of the final report, all during Harper’s time. If you are interested here are some of the stories told by over 6000 witnesses. I don’t know what else you would want.

    Yes, the gravesites that seem to be triggering this current discussion have been known for some time. Graves were a part of the final report. Here are the six calls for action and what the government has done to address them. Most deal with keeping a record and memorializing them properly. I think you agree with that.

    You believe there is racism on both sides. No doubt every human regardless of race or ethnicity has the potential to be racist and bigoted. And any country regardless of race or ethnicity has the potential to pass racist laws. But a group has to be in a position of power to make those laws. Indigenous people have not been in that position.

    You seem to be blaming the victims, that parents should have done more when the RCMP, the Indian agent and the priests came to take their children away. Who can you complain to when the threat is jail if you don’t give up your child. Or they should have been looking after the unmarked graves on residential school land hundreds of miles from their own homes when they are not even sure if their own child is buried there.

    Reconciliation means learning about the past. I think these unmarked graves have drawn more attention to our history. That is a good thing. Reconciliation also means acknowledging the damage that results from that history. And some of that damage is multi-generational. So it requires more than just an apology; it requires action.

    And this is where I kind of get where you are coming from. You are afraid that these actions will just be another round of tossing money at a problem without really addressing them. I don’t quite see it that way as I believe the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was not a farce that it actually gives us a starting point for more serious, discussion on the best path forward. Reconciliation is never easy so we definitely need strong leadership from both sides.

    (Response: You outline quite well … perhaps without realizing it …the REAL problem with the current farcical “reconciliation” show. Exactly as you stated “The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was set up specifically to study the legacy of the Residential School System”. That’s where/how the FIX was in! Differences/conflicts between First Nations and other Canadians go back may years, in many different areas ..way beyond Residential schools. By limiting the scope so much, the Liberal government has controlled the narrative, restricting the discussion, pre-determining the outcome …and thus preventing REAL reconciliation … that requires facing some ugly beliefs (and truths) on both sides … and being confronted and addressed with honest discussion and proposed solutions for moving forward.
    And yes, I do blame the First Nations parents, the band chiefs and the band councils AS WELL AS the Catholic Church and the federal/provincial governments for allowing the terrible tragedy of hundreds of kids to DISAPPEAR without a HUGE revolt, marches, demonstrations demanding answers at the time … not 60 to 100 years later! I can’t think of ANY other group of Canadians (British, French, Germans, Italians, Asians etc etc.) who would experience so frequent and such tremendous loss/abuse of their precious children over decades … and not raise Hell. I’d bet ALL of them DID know there was abuse and beatings and maybe they DID know kids died (from childhood illnesses/diseases of the time?), and were buried there with their parents knowledge and approval? But I don’t see those questions/issues being canvassed or researched in documents of the time: instead I believe millions of Canadians suspect it has become a political tool to push federal officials down to their knees to cave to various FN demands for powers and extort hundreds of millions more dollars … much of which will disappear into the great abyss of FN spending. And unless governments and FN deal with that reality of how millions of Canadians feel … there will be no real reconciliation … no matter how the social activist propagandists at the CBC (and other media) promulgate their one-sided coverage. h.o)

  30. nonconfidencevote says:

    ““this was/is Indigenous land”

    Where did the indigenous people migrate from?
    Where did the Asian people originate from?

    Lets cut to the chase and give everything back to the small remote tribe in Africa where all of humanity originated from.
    I mean fair is fair if you want to rewrite past wrongs……

    I guess Europeans should apologize for the last 500 -1000 years of colonization? Wars? Disease?
    Lets jump to modern inventions that weren’t here 500 years ago……, the wheel, electricity. refrigeration, free healthcare, free schools, police, garbage collection, drinkable water, sewers, highways, cars on and ona and on we’ll have to apologize. ?

    I guess we should take all that back because it affect first nations culture?

    How long would that last?
    A day? An Hour?

    Give the pious, apologist , woke , blame culture a break.
    A majority of silent, angry, Canadians are voting this Fall in a federal election and hopefully will toss the “Feminist” butt grabbing hypocrite who has fired more female cabinet ministers out of office than any three PM’s before him..

    What a joke this country has become when you cant even raise the bloody Nation’s flag on Canada Day without some idiot whining about it.

    (Response: Actually, I don’t know e.a.f.’s views on the following, but there’s’ one aspect to the “origin” discussion that will pose quite a dilemma for those “progressives” who support the idea that Canada is ALL unceded First Nations’ land. Anyone who believes that should also be a TOTAL Zionist who agrees ALL of Israel and the West Bank is UNCEDED LANDS of the Jewish people … not the Arabs!! After all, thousands of archeological digs, throughout ALL the lands the Palestinians claim (north to south and east to west) have turned up overwhelming EVIDENCE of ancient Hebrew civilizations, actual synagogues, menorahs, mikvahs (look it up), coins, rings, tablets, and Hebrew writings…. not mosques and korans. So it’s a bit rich if any of those who support the First Nations claims to Canadian lands deny the MUCH OLDER archeologically-proven Israelis’ “We were first” claims to ALL of not only Israel but even Judea and Samaria! Let’s see the liberal media, experts, activists twist and turn to deny that reality. 😉 h.o)

  31. NVG says:

    I just finished reading the CBC that Harvey quoted from:


    “felt his ancestors were buried there and that he had a responsibility to protect them.”

    It would probably have been better if we had taken the time to read the CBC report first, rather than having Harvey lead us to the deep end of the pool and jump in with our comments.

    ‘With a burial mound in his front yard and artifacts in his backyard, ….’

    Who would want to live there. It would be like living in a cemetery. oops, it is a cemetery.

    (Response: The story very clearly indicates the family were NOT aware of the graves before they bought the property. “When they started clearing land on Winona Road, large hills were revealed throughout the lot” … so you’re being unfair to them when you make it sound like they WANTED to live in a cemetery. And again, the REAL issue, which I was trying to point out is that there are UNMARKED First Nations burial sites all across the country, so it’s a bit hypocritical to point to/denounce unmarked graves on non-Indigenous sites, but ignore those dug, unmarked, abandoned and neglected by First Nations. BOTH are terrible. ho)

  32. NVG says:

    The real question is why didn’t the previous owners mention it to the Suttons because the ‘good’ neighbour knew about the mounds and probably told the original owner who in turn didn’t include it in the sale of the property.

    As to your claim of ‘it’s a bit hypocritical to point to/denounce unmarked graves on non-Indigenous sites’ is false. Its not non-Indigenous sites. The Provincial Government has a First Nation Community Locations KML file’ that opens in Google Earth which shows where they all are.


    File name:

    And we can thank Wilson Duff who in 1964 wrote: Indians of British Columbia Smallpox, Census Volume 1 ‘Impact of the white man” complete with maps of the First Nation Community Locations available at the Vancouver Public Library:

  33. Not Sure says:

    I am still struggling with your position. You have now doubled down on the “farcical” Truth and Reconciliation Commission because the FIX was in.

    Honestly, if that is your position then reconciliation is indeed hopeless. So I am struggling. And I am trying to sort through all the noise to get to what you want.

    Both from you and others, there is a frustration that the broken relationship between Indigenous people and the federal and provincial governments has gone on too long, that too much money has been spent with little result, that there may never be an end in sight. And you want some admission that the fault is not all one sided. The unspecified ugly truths you keep referring to.

    I am not going to argue with you on that. The past has not been good. And people will place blame wherever they want. What I want is a move forward. I look at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls for action and see which ones are quick fixes and which ones are shorter term and which ones are longer term. It is a process, a long process but if people are sincerely working together reconciliation is possible. (Side note: the commission was part of the settlement package of 2006. It ran from 2008-2015. It is now 2021. So yes it will be a long process.)

    Right now we are discussing reconciliation because of gravesites at residential schools. I ask you again to look at the six calls for action regarding these gravesites. Do you have a problem with any of them. Do you have a problem with what the government has done so far.

    Maybe I am missing something, but all of them sound reasonable. Many of the other calls for action aren’t particularly controversial either. Many of them do not involve governments at all but rather churches (eg the pope to apologize) and other organizations.

    I know it is more complicated than I am making it sound There definitely will be controversies with some of them I haven’t spent a lot of time trying to understand them completely, but I can see that there will be some areas that people will question. So yes, there will be struggles on both sides to accept compromises.

    Sometimes we get too caught up in words, Way up the page Harry asked for a definition of reconciliation. Nobody yet has offered one so, I am going to use the one I mentioned before. Learn our history. Acknowledge its impact. Act to affect change/improvement. And yes it works both ways which is part of the process.

    Again I am looking at this current situation from a strictly gravesite perspective. The calls for action are pretty clear. The past was horrible. Asking for a registry and memorialization doesn’t look like something we should be arguing over.

    That’s not to say there won’t be future contentious issues, but let’s at least start work on the ones we can agree on.

    (Response: I NEVER said reconciliation is “hopeless”. I support it, yearn for it …and would like nothing better than to see ALL Canadians building a better future together, based on mutual respect. BUT that requires BOTH sides keeping it REAL: acknowledging the faults and failings of the past on BOTH sides; having a REAL discussion of gripes on BOTH sides; and working towards a common goal that would satisfy BOTH sides. I … and I suspect millions of Canadians … believe the “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” was NONE of that: it was a one-sided biased very politicized platform for selective First Nations activists to push their agenda … and, of course, demand/get hundreds of millions more federal dollars. And BUY Trudeau/Liberals Indigenous votes! THAT will never achieve REAL reconciliation … and, in fact, I believe it will just increase the resentment of other Canadians who see that money handed out …and then disappear into some great First Nations abyss, with nothing much REALLY changing on the reserves themselves! h.o)

  34. Stu de Baker says:

    You said, he said.
    HO “I NEVER said reconciliation is “hopeless”.”
    Not Sure ‘Honestly, if that is your position then reconciliation is indeed hopeless.”
    With that kind of spin and deflection, is it any wonder there is no satisfactory movement on this file?

    (Response: Read the source of that line again …it was Not Sure’s line … not mine.
    However I would agree … under the current setup, under the current one-sided pandering to First Nations without considering, discussing the feelings held by millions of other Canadians’ views as well towards waste, mismanagement and disrespect for others’ values and respect for Canada’s wonderful accomplishments and historical figures who helped build this great land … it would indeed be “hopeless”! h.o)

  35. OldIslander says:

    Thank you Harvey for this excellent post. In these times of JT’s overbearing political correctness (“We like to say ‘peoplekind’, not ‘mankind’…”), it is important to have a reality check, of statements being bandied about in the national media. And thank you to a few of your responders who have told their personal stories.

    Regarding the story at the lead, natives are only hurting themselves by blocking the development of properties where ancient remains have been discovered. Every day across this country, as excavations for houses, swimming pools, etc. are being dug, property owners and developers have quiet unwritten agreements with machinery operators, to quickly and quietly bury anything that looks out of place. The odds of being caught are slim. The consequences of being honest and calling the authorities if remains are found will likely be devastating.

    (Response: It’s too bad the media are so timid, so intimidated that they are afraid to ask tough questions of First Nations’ leaders and especially activists. It’s the media’s JOB to ask tough questions and challenge those pushing any kind of agenda … even if means questioning political correctness … and politicians pandering to interest groups, in an effort to buy votes with public funds. Right now, I believe the opinions/concerns of millions of Canadians are being disrespected and ignored … and until that changes, true reconciliation will not happen. ho)

  36. HARRY LAWSON says:


    This has been a fascinating topic and discussion.

    How do we get on a true path I reconciliation?

    How do we ensure that the reconciliation process is not hijacked by special interest groups from all sides .

    somethings should truly be apolitical . I believe this process should be free of political strife. I know I am dreaming. Lol

    Should we invite the United nations in to assist with reconciliation?

    (Response: I would be so happy with REAL reconciliation of all Canadians …but as I said, I believe millions of Canadians believe the recent Truth and Recon effort was a one-sided farce designed to let First Nations community leaders, politicians and activists list THEIR complaints, grievances and unchallenged rants …and then be rewarded with hundreds of millions of more public dollars from weak politicians, out to BUY favour and votes. What we need for REAL reconciliation is a People’s Commission for Truth and Reconciliation … made up of ordinary working Canadians, not just “progressives”, eggheads and Indigenous mouthpieces … who will consider/debate/resolve views/grievances/prejudices of ALL sides …including some very uncomfortable views from both non-Indigenous and even many Indigenous Canadians who believe billions of dollars spent/handed to Indigenous leaders/band councils and on projects over the decades have been misspent/misdirected/stolen and this MUST be addressed/corrected instead of just handing out hundreds of millions of dollars more. That would be REAL reconciliation and resolve REAL differences. h.o)

  37. BMCQ says:

    What are the twelve words Canada and Canadians should fear more than almost anything ?

    “I am from the United Nations and I am here to help” !

    As things now stand with “Reconciliation, the Indian/FirstNations/Indigenous” we are really unfortunately just in the early stages, the beginnings of investigations, discoveries, accusations, part truths, hearings, and legal Mumbo jumbo that will go on for at least another decade as activists, most First Nations Leaderships, poverty pimps, race hustlers, pandering politicians, media, and other special interests milk the tragedies of what went on with Residential Schools for everything they can get without actually coming to conclusions or an end to the grotesque events .

    As previously stated, those groups only want more tax payer money to fuel the fire, they do not want either the truth or the end to any of this . It will soon cost the tax payer R Two Billion Dollars with NO end in sight .

    To then introduce the UN into that mix would prove to be catastrophic, the UN has not done anything productive for decades, even if it appears the UN did accomplish some things in various hot spots they left a trail of thousands of Pregnant poor desperate young girls and women upon their departure from too many nations to mention .

    To introduce the UN an organization controlled by countries like China and Russia into our Indian/First Nations/Indigenous problems.troubles would be the end for Canada, we would never resolve anything and the money pot would have no bottom . We would spend $ Billions more over the years and we would end up over our heads in quicksand .

    I do not think the UN would come anyway as Canada does not have enough Iranian Ossetra Caviar and Dom Perignon, not worth their while .
    Thank God !

  38. R.N. says:

    Residential school graves near at least one school are filled with local inhabitants, and not students.

    Media reports were quick to characterize the graves as belonging to children who attended the nearby Marieval Indian Residential School. But, according to a band councillor, that’s not necessarily the case.

    “It appears that not all of the graves contain children’s bodies,” Jon Z. Lerat told the Globe and Mail, noting that this was also the burial site used by the rural municipality.

    Keeping it Real…, please read the article by Candice Malcom of the Toronto Sun, pasted below, and tell me if you agree that there is a distant possibility, or even likelihood, that the bodies found at the other residential schools are of local inhabitants. Sincerely, R. N.

    MALCOLM: It’s important to bring accuracy to residential school graves conversation
    Author of the article:
    Candice Malcolm
    Publishing date:
    Jul 12, 2021 • July 12, 2021 • 3 minute read • 42 Comments

    Has the media narrative about the graves found near former residential schools gotten away from the facts? You be the judge.

    It’s been six weeks since the Chief of the Tk’emlups band in Kamloops, B.C. announced that 215 unmarked graves were found using ground-penetrating radar on the grounds of a former residential school. On May 27, the band said that a preliminary report would be released in mid-June.

    It’s now mid-July, and a report has yet to be released and emails from the Sun inquiring about the report did not receive a response.

    On June 24, another discovery was announced — this time in Saskatchewan, where Cowessess Chief Cadmus Delorme announced a bigger finding: 751 unmarked graves.

    Media reports were quick to characterize the graves as belonging to children who attended the nearby Marieval Indian Residential School. But, according to a band councillor, that’s not necessarily the case.

    “It appears that not all of the graves contain children’s bodies,” Jon Z. Lerat told the Globe and Mail, noting that this was also the burial site used by the rural municipality.

    “We did have a family of non-Indigenous people show up today and notified us that some of those unmarked graves had their families in them — their loved ones,” Lerat said. Delorme added that oral stories said the graves belong to “both children and adults” as well as “people who attended the church or were from nearby towns.”

    Unlike the Tk’emlups band — who said the unmarked graves were discovered on the grounds of the former residential school — the unmarked graves at Cowesses are in an existing cemetery. Delorme noted that the graves were once marked, but that the markings were removed at some point.

    The 2019 news reports were more cautious about asserting that these graves belonged to children. This is how it was described in the Regina Leader-Post at the time:

    “Because many graves are unmarked, it’s difficult to tell if any children from Marieval were buried there, but the Archdiocese said it’s likely because the school was in operation for so long and it was the community’s only burial site.”

    It is unclear whether the 751 unmarked graves announced in June 2021 are the same as the graves discussed in the media in June 2019 and the Sun has yet to hear back from media requests sent to Cowessess Band.

    Next, on June 30, 2021, a third band, the Lower Kootenay Band near Cranbrook, B.C., announced its own finding of 182 unmarked graves.

    Like the Cowessess cemetery graves, the Lower Kootenay unmarked graves are within an existing cemetery — and again the cemetery was used by the broader community.

    Former chief Sophie Pierre told Global News “there’s no discovery, we knew it was there, it’s a graveyard.”

    “The fact there are graves inside a graveyard shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.”

    The history of this cemetery is complex. Records show it was established in 1865 — 50 years before the residential school opened. In 1874, the cemetery began servicing the only local hospital in the Cranbrook region.

    The Lower Kootenay Band was clear about these points in their original news release, noting that the graves were originally marked.

    “Graves were traditionally marked with wooden crosses and this practice continues to this day in many Indigenous communities across Canada. Wooden crosses can deteriorate over time due to erosion or fire which can result in an unmarked grave.”

    “These factors, among others, make it extremely difficult to establish whether or not these unmarked graves contain the remains of children who attended the St. Eugene Residential School.”

    While much of the broader national conversation has characterized these findings as proof of genocide at Canada’s residential schools, the facts currently available suggest a more complicated picture.

    What we also see are uncared for graves (that were previously marked) on the grounds of existing community cemeteries (servicing a broad range of society) under the care of First Nations bands. An exploration of these facts can help us have a less sensational and more accurate conversation.

    (Response: There is a LOT of unverified “information” and allegations floating out there about the unmarked graves ..not supported by actual evidence! And neither the government nor the media are doing their jobs by just accepting anything anyone says as true … without that evidence. h.o)

Comments are closed.