Two more Catholic churches burned down in indigenous communities in western Canada early on Saturday.
The fires at St Ann’s Church and the Chopaka Church began within an hour of each other in British Columbia.
Officers said both buildings were completely destroyed, and they were treating the fires as “suspicious”.
Last Monday two other Catholic churches in the province were destroyed in fires, as Canada marked National Indigenous People’s Day.
“The investigations into the previous fires and these two new fires are ongoing with no arrests or charges,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt Jason Bayda said.
It comes after hundreds of unmarked graves were discovered at sites of former residential schools in Canada.
The government-funded compulsory schools were run by religious groups in the 19th and 20th centuries with the aim of assimilating indigenous youth.
Indigenous groups have demanded a nationwide search for more graves.
“These men know we do not understand their religion. We cannot read their book – they tell us different stories about what it contains, and we believe they make the book talk to suit themselves.
If we had no money, no land and no country to be cheated out of these black coats would not trouble themselves about our good hereafter.
The red men knew nothing of trouble until it came from the white men; as soon as they crossed the great waters they wanted our country, and in return have always been ready to teach us to quarrel about their religion.” – Chief Red Jacket, 1824, when asked why he was opposed to missionaries.
Don’t get me going about this particular branch of the supposed Christian faith. When mother was in confinement all those years ago with younger siblings, we were placed under the supervision of the Mersey side nuns and beaten about the legs with canes. I still remember howling with the pain of it and me just under 5 years old. And for what! Not keeping up with the others similarly beaten by sadistic nuns.