Mystery surrounds source of letter defending Indian residential schools that was shared by Williams Lake mayor and others
The long letter is claimed to be written by a man called Jim Bissell — who does not have a Facebook page or any online presence — in response to an editorial by the Toronto Sun’s Lorne Gunter.
The letter was never published by the Toronto Sun, but is circulating widely online. The people who are circulating the letter say that it had been passed on to them.
In it, Bissell claims he is 70 and lived in the Canadian north surrounded by two residential schools in a population that was 95 per cent Indigenous and that they lived a nomadic life. He claims his daughter is Aboriginal.
“The churches do not need to apologize for trying to educate the poor in the only system that would work for nomadic peoples. They need to say sorry though for protecting and moving about the few bad apples (priests).”
The letter goes on to state that most of the victims of the residential school system are dead and came after the discovery of hundreds of bodies near Canadian residential schools.
“Please believe me when I say that the missionaries were not a bunch of evil persons out to kill little children like it sounds in today’s media,” Bissell wrote.
Last weekend, Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb read the letter that had been cut and pasted onto a Facebook post by one of the people he monitors (Judy Kerr from Saskatchewan, who has 44 followers) and reposted it.