Four Catholic churches destroyed on Indigenous land in a week

Canadian authorities are investigating multiple fires that destroyed four Catholic churches on Indigenous land in the past week.

They are the latest in a string of recent events affecting the country’s Indigenous communities.

The churches were destroyed as Canada confronts its history of systemic abuse of Indigenous communities.

Recent discoveries of hundreds of human remains at the sites of two former boarding schools inflamed tensions. The schools were operated by Catholic religious groups.

Police and firefighters responded early Saturday morning to a fire at the St. Ann’s Catholic Church on Upper Similkameen Indian Band land.

Within the hour, someone called police to report that the Chopaka Catholic Church on Lower Similkameen Indian Band land was also burning, said Sgt. Jason Bayda of the Penticton South Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

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