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Canada: Fire destroys two Catholic churches on indigenous land

Police in Canada say they are treating fires that destroyed two Catholic churches on indigenous community land in British Columbia as suspicious.

Sacred Heart Church and St Gregory's Church burnt down at about the same time early on Monday, as Canada marked National Indigenous People's Day.

The two churches - built more than 100 years ago - are located about 40km (25 miles) apart in the western province.

Liquid accelerants are believed to have been used, one fire official said.

The two churches on the Penticton Indian Band reserve and the Osoyoos Indian Band reserve are less than 100km from Kamloops, where the remains of 215 children were found at a former boarding school in May.

Thousands of indigenous children were sent to such schools in the 19th and 20th Centuries to be forcibly assimilated. The institutions were often run by the Roman Catholic Church.


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