Politicians, Indigenous leaders say burning churches not the way to get justice

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and some Indigenous leaders say they understand people are angry about the discovery of unmarked graves at former residential schools, but burning churches is not the way to proceed.

Trudeau says the destruction of places of worship is unacceptable and it must stop.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde says the Indigenous way is not to burn things down.

Rather, he says, it is about building relationships and coming together.

Several Catholic churches have recently been vandalized or damaged in suspicious fires following the discovery of unmarked graves at former residential school sites in British Columbia and Saskatchewan.

This morning, a historic Catholic church in Alberta was destroyed by fire and a Catholic church at a First Nation in Nova Scotia was damaged by flames.

A fire burns a Catholic Church as shown in this handout image provided by Tracy Dalzell-Heise in Morinville, Alberta on Wednesday June 30, 2021. The church has been destroyed by what RCMP are calling a suspicious fire. RCMP say in a release that officers were called to the blaze at St. John Baptiste Parish in Morinville, about 40 kilometres north of Edmonton, just after 3 a.m. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Communications and Legislative Services-Tracy Dalzell-Heise

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