In the summer of 2021 in so-called Canada, there were at least 68 churches who were targeted with arson and vandalism (numbers according to Wikipedia). This was an unprecedented wave of rage against the Church and its violence on Indigenous peoples. The wave of arson and vandalism attacks was triggered by the finding of 215 unmarked graves near a previous Indian Residential School (IRS) in Kamloops, BC, Canada.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) reported more than 6000 kids died in IRS. We will never know the real numbers. My dear friend who is a survivor of St-Marc-de-Figuery IRS told me last summer that when the TRC audiences were about to close, people were basically just beginning to open up. What was recorded was just the surface of the abuse suffered there. Some things witnessed were too difficult to name. The TRC team asked the government to create a special task force on murdered children (in IRS) specifically, because there were too many hints to be just anecdotal, but their request was refused and we never got the state funded research.
Schools are closed today and Indigenous families are left with sometimes insurmountable trauma that trickles down generations. But the church is still an active agent of colonization today. They sit on a power so immense we don’t even see its ramifications, especially as non-Indigenous ppl, sometimes completely outsiders to what happens in communities. The influence of the church is still active in protecting abusers, shaming people reclaiming traditional spirituality, colluding money, or refusing to share archives. The Catholic Church was just let off of a 25M CAD debt to IRS survivors from the Settlement Agreement from 2006. In Quebec, the Oblats are denying information about their involvement in the disappearance of Innu, Atikamekw, Anishinabe children into the health system during the second half of the 20th century.
Some have told me it’s not a settler’s place to speak in this matter. I want to say people’s faith is not my business, but fuck the church! Fuck the pope’s apology! I care for and support every anonymous arson attacker who wanted to avenge the victims of the Catholic Church since Jacques Cartier erected a giant cross in Gaspé in 1534