Mystery surrounds the source of the letter defending Indian residential schools that was shared by the Mayor of Williams Lake and others.

The provocative letter from a man named Jim Bissell is widely shared online, but no one can find out right now who he is.

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It is unclear who wrote a letter which advocates for Indian residential schools in Canada and has been widely shared online, including on Facebook by the Mayor of Williams Lake.


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The lengthy letter is claimed to have been written by a man named Jim Bissell, who does not have a Facebook page or online presence, in response to an editorial by Lorne Gunter of the Toronto Sun.

The letter was never published by the Toronto Sun, but it is circulating widely online. People who are circulating the letter say it was delivered to them.

In it, Bissell claims that he is 70 years old and lived in northern Canada surrounded by two residential schools in a population that was 95 percent indigenous and that they lived a nomadic life. He claims that his daughter is Aboriginal.

The letter defends the residential school system, stating: “The media only tells half the story.”

He also said that the churches that ran the federally funded schools “were not always right, no, of course not, but they actually wanted to educate, feed and improve the lives of all people no matter where they came from.


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Churches need not apologize for trying to educate the poor in the only system that would work for nomadic peoples. However, they need to apologize for protecting and moving the few bad apples (priests). “

The letter goes on to claim that most of the victims of the residential school system are dead and occurred after the discovery of hundreds of bodies near Canadian residential schools.

“Please believe me when I tell you that the missionaries were not a group of evil people who wanted to kill young children as it sounds in the media today,” Bissell wrote.

Last weekend Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb read the letter that had been cut and pasted into a Facebook post by one of the people he monitors (Judy Kerr from Saskatchewan, who has 44 followers) and He republished it.


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A few days later, Cobb apologized to the council and the Williams Lake First Nation after being severely reprimanded for sharing the letter. His defense was that it was a private post on his private Facebook page. Cobb remains mayor, but has left his position on the Cariboo Regional District Board.

After Postmedia News reported Cobb’s apology, a reader, Jody Busch, contacted the newsroom and pointed out that Bissell does not have a Facebook account and that he refers to both the 1930s and 1960s. in the letter, and said he had received an X-ray. of a nun and dental work of a missionary.

Then on Sunday Ontario reader Frances Porter contacted the newsroom and said a Haldimand County councilor had also reposted a copy of the same letter on her Facebook page (also from Judy Kerr ).


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Among others, it was also published by John Sullivan, a counselor in Windsor Ontario, and Sullivan claimed that it had been sent to him and that it showed the other side of the residential school story.

On Sunday, Sullivan said he hadn’t verified where he came from, but that he resonated with him as a former Catholic priest working missions in Africa.

The letter has even been shared by the Toronto Wynford Tower Residents Association on their website.

None of the J. Bissells contacted through Canada411 were named Jim or knew of the letter.

If you can verify the identity of the letter author Jim Bissell, please contact [email protected].

[email protected]



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