June 27, 2021
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Two Catholic churches have burnt down in Canada’s westernmost province of British Columbia, days after another two Catholic churches were destroyed by fires in the same province, CBC reports.
The fires occurred on Saturday, on Indian reserves in British Columbia’s Southern Interior. They were reported by Lower and Upper Similkameen Indian Bands, according to CBC.
Police are now investigating whether there is any connection between the Saturday morning fires at St. Ann’s Church and the Chopaka church, and the Okanagan church fires that occurred on Monday.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said on Monday that the Sacred Heart Church on Penticton Indian Band lands and St. Gregory’s Church on Osoyoos Indian Band lands burned to the ground and police were treating the fires as suspicious.
The church fires come as more Canadians, including members of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation, push for the Catholic Church to formally apologize for its role in Canada’s residential school system. Earlier this month, the remains of a hundred more indigenous children were found on the territory of former residential schools.
According to the reported estimates, over 150,000 Indigenous children in Canada have been compelled to attend Christian schools for over a century as part of a larger campaign to assimilate them into Canadian society.