Media Release: Call for Public Inquiry into the “Kamloops Graves Hoax”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Canada Needs a Public Inquiry into the “Kamloops Graves Hoax” Call for a public inquiry is a step towards uncovering the truth and ensuring such a national […]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Canada Needs a Public Inquiry into the “Kamloops Graves Hoax”

Call for a public inquiry is a step towards uncovering the truth and ensuring such a national scandal never happens again

WINNIPEG, June 28, 2024 – The Frontier Centre for Public Policy is urgently calling for a public inquiry into what has become known as the “Kamloops Graves Hoax.” The May 27, 2021, claim by the Kamloops Indian Band regarding the discovery of “human remains” in the apple orchard area of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School caused national hysteria and moral panic, both domestically and internationally. However, recent admissions have revealed these claims to be false.

In a press release issued three years after the sensational claims, Chief Roseanne Casimir of the Kamloops Indian Band finally admitted that there were no “human remains,” “bodies,” “graves,” or “mass graves” found at Kamloops. What was initially reported as grave sites turned out to be mere soil anomalies, which could easily be attributed to tree roots, rocks, or remnants of prior excavations. Notably, a 1924 excavation in the same area was likely the source of the detected soil disturbances.

The 2021 claims triggered a wave of national and international reactions, including lowered flags, burned churches, and widespread media coverage. These events also prompted the ailing Pope to visit Canada, led MPs to condemn their own country as genocidal, and resulted in the enactment of costly legislation. The Canadian government allocated millions of dollars towards the search for “missing children,” who, as it turns out, never existed. The entire episode is a blemish on Canada’s history, highlighting the need for a thorough public inquiry.

Chief Casimir stated that the initial claims were based on a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) report prepared by Sarah Beaulieu, a young anthropologist from the University of the Fraser Valley. However, it is widely known that GPR can only detect soil anomalies, not graves or human remains. The actual content of Beaulieu’s report remains undisclosed, as the Kamloops Indian Band has refused to release it despite initially promising to do so. This raises serious questions about the veracity of their claims and the possibility that the band knew the information was false.

The Kamloops Indian Band applied for and received $8,000,000 from the federal government based on their false claims. Neither the band nor the federal government has provided details about the representations made to secure these funds or how the money was spent, especially given that no excavation has taken place.

The refusal of the Kamloops Indian Band to release the GPR report, coupled with the federal government’s silence on the matter, indicates a need for a thorough investigation. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) will not investigate unless requested by the Kamloops Band. This leaves the Canadian public in the dark about how and why millions of taxpayer dollars were spent based on a false premise.

The claims made on May 27, 2021, have caused significant disruption in Canada, damaged the nation’s reputation, and led to misleading narratives being taught in schools. It is crucial to understand how these false claims were propagated and why. A public inquiry is essential to provide clarity and accountability and to restore public trust.

The Frontier Centre for Public Policy calls for this inquiry to ensure transparency and address the grave mistakes that have been made. Canadians deserve to know the truth and to hold accountable those who have misled the nation.

Contact information

Marco Navarro-Genie
Director of Research
Frontier Centre for Public Policy
mng@fcpp.org

David Leis
VP Development and Engagement
Frontier Centre for Public Policy
david.leis@fcpp.org

About the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

The Frontier Centre for Public Policy is an independent, non-partisan think tank that conducts research and analysis on a wide range of public policy issues. Committed to promoting economic freedom, individual liberty, and responsible governance, the Centre aims to contribute to informed public debates and shape effective policies that benefit Canadians.

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