Chiefs in B.C. speaking out after more churches are torched over the weekend


Three more Catholic churches on First Nations land in British Columbia were found in flames over the weekend.

That brings a total of five churches to be set ablaze in the past month.

Many believe it’s in reaction to the recent confirmation of graves at a former residential school in Kamloops and another in Saskatchewan.

Elected chiefs are speaking out about the fires and trying to bring people together.

Lower Similkamanin Indian Band Chief Keith Crow said he received a call in the early morning hours about the fire.

“One of my members had called me about 4:00 o clock in the morning and told me the church is on fire and I went to the site, I was there about 4:30 by the time I got there, there was half a wall left standing.”

Crow said he’s talked to community members that regularly attend all the churches.

“We have a devote Catholic following in our community, that there is a group, they are upset obviously with all of the churches being burnt down,” he said.

That Saturday morning in northern B.C., another church was found in flames in Gitwangak – this time at St. Paul’s Anglican church which is abandoned.

In a social media post, Chief Sandra Larin expresses her opposition to the violence standing in front of the church.

“This isn’t the way, begetting violence with violence is just not going to get us anywhere,” she said.

Video Journalist / Kitimat Village, B.C.

Lee is a video journalist with APTN News, who shoots, reports and edits stories out of northern British Columbia. As a member of the Haisla Nation, Lee is proud to call Kitimat Village home again after living on Vancouver Island for 18 years. He has a passion for storytelling and looks forward to sharing stories through the lens of First Nations people.