James Pew is an independent writer, father and entrepreneur. James’ work can be found on Substack at Woke Watch Canada and The Turn. James is a strong advocate for liberalism and the cherished Western freedoms associated with truth-seeking.

False narratives seem to contain black holes at the epicentre of their untruths where the pull is so strong that there is no escape back to reality. The longer such narratives continue to grow and take shape, the more a sort of false parallel universe grows, taking its own shape and existing outside reality.

The claims of Chief Rosanne Casimir and other Indigenous leaders regarding unmarked graves in Canada make up one such false narrative parallel universe.  

Why is so little being done in Canada to rescue hapless inter-dimensional travellers from the mendacity of the unlikely unmarked graves narrative they have been unwittingly sucked into? Why do unsubstantiated stories hold such power over otherwise intelligent people? Is there perhaps a wormhole somewhere within the depths of this perfidious void able to transport the narrative-captured traveller back to earth?

There is no question that this false story has been widely believed. There is also no question that it has had a devastating effect on Canada’s Indigenous peoples.  From the beginning, the unmarked graves narrative has inspired resentment and encouraged the Indigenous to look back in anger instead of ahead to reconciliation.

The countless ground-penetrating radar (GPR) searches, none of which has been verified through excavation, represent an exorbitant real cost because the funds used are desperately needed elsewhere. The Indigenous need workable solutions for the future, not GPR searches. 

Too many Indigenous Canadians live in poverty and squalor. Instead of funds being used to alleviate that situation, they are being diverted to a search for God knows what. Nothing is found but soil disturbances, but headlines in the form of anti-settler postcolonial agitprop are disseminated around the globe as a result. This is a lose-lose situation for the Indigenous, and it is a shameful tragedy that we lack even one political leader willing to speak honestly about it. 

As long as distractions such as headlines about unmarked graves continue to be used to justify the diversion of taxpayer funds from initiatives intended to ameliorate their present-day conditions, anger and resentment in Indigenous communities will only get worse.

How was this phony parallel universe set in motion to begin with?

As we know, it began in Kamloops, with the outrageous claim by Chief Casimir and the Kamloops Band that human remains had been discovered, when all that had been found were soil disturbances. Why have retractions of this false claim been either half-hearted or completely absent?

Researcher Nina Green has circulated to journalists a chronology of the narrative, from the scoop given to CFJC Today on May 27th, 2021 and the Kamloops Band’s press release, to later corrections, explanations, and wasted opportunities to set the record straight.

On June 4th, 2021, Chief Casimir held a virtual press conference for the purpose of correcting the claim of a mass grave discovery. Chief Casimir did in fact clarify that “This is not a mass grave. These are preliminary findings,” but she did not retract her previous sensational false claim that human remains had been recovered. This omission cannot be overlooked. Was it that claims of a mass grave were too distant from the truth, while claims of discovered human remains were perceived as acceptably distant?

The fact remains that until human remains are verified through excavation, these statements remain unretracted by both Indigenous leaders and the federal government.

Shockingly, six months later Chief Casimir moved a resolution at an Assembly of First Nations General Meeting which she herself called it a mass grave. What kind of game is being played here? Depending if friends or political adversaries are present, Chief Casimir seems to change her story to suit her audience.

But Chief Casimir is not alone in her deceptions. The federal government was complicit too. On June 3rd, 2021 the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs held a meeting which opened with the following:

“…the motion adopted on June 1, 2021, and following the discovery of the remains of 215 indigenous children buried on the former site of the Kamloops residential school…”

Bizarrely, the Committee’s focus was correcting a minor detail of the Kamloops Band’s May 27th press release in which Chief Casimir misspoke about the source of GPR funding. Government officials went to great lengths to point out that the GPR work had in fact been paid for by a federal government Canadian Heritage grant, not the BC Government’s Pathway to Healing grant. Was this really what Canadians were concerned about? Is it not more than a little bit incredible that there was no correction by the Committee of the false claim of uncovered human remains? I smell rent-seeking, but why would the government go along with it?

If we look at this from a perspective critical of Indigenous activism, and entertain the theories of political economist Frances Widdowson, an obvious reason for false statements about the discovery of human remains becomes apparent. In most cases, where there are Indigenous activists, you can bet there will be untruths, half-truths, misdirections, omissions, and full-on deceptions. 

Why? 

Because the activist agenda is to paint the worst picture imaginable and then provide a rationale that assigns blame to the constituency they wish to extract rent, where “rent” is often in the form of compensation for past wrongs. When past wrongs are exaggerated, so are demands for rent.

In response, the government seems to have thrown up its hands and caved to the demands of the rent-seeking Aboriginal Industry.

The media, political leaders, and activists have all been participating in what Canadian anthropologist Hymie Rubenstein calls “the soft bigotry of low indigenous expectations” which “keeps ordinary indigenous people on perpetual crutches while ensuring that the only beneficiaries of Citizens Plus are indigenous elites and other members of the Indian Industry.”

Politicians, with their eyes fixed on election or re-election, lack the conviction to challenge or push back against even the most sensational false claims or outrageous demands.

Activists will continue winning and controlling the narrative until someone in a position of authority says enough is enough.

Or until Canadians wake up and realize that since we didn’t vote for them, activists should not be running the country.

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James Pew is an independent writer, father and entrepreneur. Covering the culture wars from a variety of angles, with an emphasis on the effects of esoteric academic inventions (ie. Postmodernism and Critical Theory) on Canadian culture, education and public policy. James is a strong advocate for liberalism and the cherished Western freedoms associated with truth-seeking (academic, speech and conscience).

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