Former top Trudeau advisor Gerald Butts tweeted on Tuesday that it "may be understandable" for people to burn down churches.
The tweet, posted in response to PostMedia's Terry Glavin, implies that while the burning of churches may not be "cool," that it certainly is "understandable," as unmarked graves near former residential schools operated by the Canadian government and the Catholic church continue to be discovered.
Butts' comments, however, do not line up with residential school survivors in British Columbia, who have explicitly called for an end to burning of churches.
A group who spoke to Global News said that the vandalism and arsons that have gone rampant in Canada over the last several weeks have lead to more strife and depression for those who survived the schools.
"We do not spread hate, we love people, we do not destroy other people’s places of religion," said Jenn Allan-Riley, whose mother survived residential schools.
"We're asking for people that are setting these fires to stop now."
"We understand some people believe that they’re standing in solidarity with us Indigenous people as we find more graves across Canada. Burning down churches is not in solidarity with us Indigenous people."
First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde said that he could understand "the frustration, the anger, the hurt, and the pain... But to burn things down is not our way."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called the burnings "unacceptable."
"We must work together to right past wrongs," he said.