Trudeau government spends $8 million searching for bodies at Kamloops residential school after viral ‘mass graves’ story, finds nothing

There were no remains, and now, $8 million has been used to uncover that, with the allocation of the funds shrouded in mystery. 

Canada has spent about $8 million to try to discover the "heartbreaking truth" about mass graves, or unmarked graves at the Indian Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia, only to find that there were no bodies recovered at all. The whole scandal was a hoax.

Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolane Gratton said that the substantial funding was used for fieldwork, records searches, and securing the grounds of the school, Western Standard reports, but no remains have yet been uncovered.

The scandal began in 2021 when First Nation announced that they had discovered the graves of 215 children on the grounds of the school. International criticism of Canada and their residential school system was swift and furious. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau even went out to the site with a teddy bear to express his compassion. "What happened decades ago isn’t part of our history, it is an irrefutable part of our present," Trudeau said.

The only problem was that the whole thing was untrue. There were no remains, and now, $8 million has been used to uncover that, with the allocation of the funds shrouded in mystery.

In 2021, Rosanne Casimir, the chief of the Tk'Emlups Te Secwe'Pemc, said "An unthinkable loss that was spoken about but never documented" upon the announcement of the "discovery" of mass graves."We had a knowing in our community that we were able to verify. To our knowledge, these missing children are undocumented deaths," she said.

It was established at the time that representatives from the nation would work with BC authorities o search the old archives and dialog with local communities, to try to correlate as much documentation as possible and connect government records.

By 2022, the story of a "mass unmarked grave" had been called into question by academics as no evidence backing the shocking claim surfaced in the year since the shocking announcement, despite funding and research going into the search. ATk’emlúps te Secwépemc spokesman confirmed that no remains had been found and there had been no excavations.

"'Not one body has been found," Jacques Rouillard, who is a professor emeritus in the Department of History at the Université de Montréal, said at the time. "After …months of recrimination and denunciation, where are the remains of the children buried at the Kamloops Indian Residential School?"

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