The Christmas Season draws nigh, and Christians of all denominations prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and to call for Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men. Now is the time for all good men and women to ask who is behind the rampant church burnings going on in Canada – especially directed at Catholic churches?My opinion? The federal government.This may seem like a shocking statement, but what are we to conclude about the fact the federal government contributed $5 million to the ‘charity’ known as The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund, BN/Registration number: 784055915 RR 0001, established on April 01, 2018.The objective of this ‘charity’ is stated as:"Education advancement of the impact of residential school system and trust and reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous communities. Promotion of truth and reconciliation and positive relations between indigenous and non-indigenous communities."Since that time, the Secret Path graphic novel, Gord Downie’s music tracks and the animated film by the same name have been distributed and taught in 65,000 school classrooms across North America and Downie’s music is frequently played on radio and playlists everywhere. CBC Arts presentation of Gord Downie’s – The Secret Path which tells the animated story of Charlie Wenjack’s “flight” from the school and the rough handling and sexual predation of the Catholic priest has more than 1.1 million views.There’s only one problem.There were no Catholic priests or nuns at the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School and there is no credible evidence that Charlie Wenjack was ever sexually assaulted.Cecilia Jeffrey was managed by the Women’s Missionary Society of the Presbyterian Church of Canada; at the time of Charlie's death there was an indigenous principal, Colin Wasacase, who had been appointed in August 1966, a few months before Charlie's death. Charlie didn’t run away in an act of desperation. He tagged along with two friends who were going to visit their uncle who lived nearby. Unlike the film’s imagery, there was no chain-link fence around the school and the children were free to come and go. The previous principal knew their ‘secret paths’ and hangouts in the surrounding woods so well that he often stashed sandwiches here and there so that they would have a snack when they wandered off to play. Charlie only boarded at Cecilia Jeffrey school. He went to day school in Kenora.What am I saying?I’m saying the federal government has funded a very powerful media project that subverts historical fact and especially incites youth against Catholics. Watching the graphic film or reading the book, hearing the plaintive lyrics might just make a person mad enough to light up a Catholic or any Christian church to make it “burn in hell.”These extremely well-produced and well-marketed narratives also falsely incite people against the historical facts of the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in particular, while also smearing the positive aspects and history of all other residential schools as well. Indigenous youth today are vastly undereducated compared to mainstream society; youth who often find themselves homeless in the city. It’s just wrong to teach indigenous youth to fear and hate educators and charitable Christian organizations, which also typically offer hot meal and shelter services to the homeless. Not to mention, about a third of Canadians are Catholics and of the 1.8 million indigenous people, about 500,000 are Catholic. So, the Downie-Wenjack media spectacle serves to divide that community, too. And why would those taxpayers agree to finance such a project that so falsely denigrates the charitable nature of Catholics and all Christian communities around the world?Robert MacBain has written a detailed factual account of the story of Charlie Wenjack’s short life and his tragic ending titled, “Lonely Death of an Ojibway Boy.” He found former students as well as parents of the students were very happy with Cecilia Jeffrey school. For most of the time Charlie was there, the principal was Stephen T. Robinson, whose wife Agnes was matron.Robert MacBain incorporates many of the more than 300 letters parents and former students wrote to principal Robinson and his wife. Some are fondly addressed to “Mom and Dad” – the principal and his wife were regarded with great affection by their students. Many letters are signed “Love.” Dozens of letters attest to the gratitude of former students for the education and direction they received while attending; many parents write to give thanks. The parents often beg for additional clothing or blankets to be sent to them from the Women’s Missionary Society that operated the school because the parents were too destitute to buy anything. The school was literally saving their children’s lives.It seems the spark that lit the fires that have vandalized or burned more than 80 churches in Canada, was the unfounded allegation of the discovery of unmarked graves at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, formerly run by the Catholic Church. A school where media blindly reported, as if fact, the childhood ghost stories which former older student Emma Baker told CTV they liked to tell each other about bodies buried in the orchard! It seems these ghost stories grew up as fact in the minds of the younger children who are today’s anonymous Knowledge Keepers. They now claim children who went there were forced to secretly bury their childhood friends who died, in shallow graves in the dark of night. Even a cursory check of land use files would have shown the 'graves' identified by Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) are most likely the clay tiles of abandoned septic field trenches installed in 1924. Only 51 students are recorded as having died while attending Kamloops Indian Residential School over the course of its long history (1890-1969), and only four of those children died while physically at the school. A fact check of provincial death certificates and attendance records would have put these claims to rest. Death certificates exist for all but a handful; most are signed by parents and in most cases, the child was returned to their home reserve for burial. Once these facts are known, there’s nothing to be burning mad about.But the burning rage had been simmering for years thanks to Downie’s false retelling of Charlie Wenjack’s story.Today, dozens of corporations continue to fund the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund by setting up 'Legacy Rooms' which are licenced through the charitable foundation, which was originally funded for $5,000,000 by the federal government. And as MacBain explains in his book, now 65,000 classrooms across North America learn to hate Catholics because the way the story is told a Catholic priest sexually assaults Charlie and that is the reason Secret Path claims that he ran away into the woods, ultimately dying as he tried to walk 600 km home. That would be enraging, if true. But it is not true. And that enrages me.There were no Catholic priests or nuns at Cecilia Jeffery Indian Residential School. No clergy at all. And Robert MacBain did not find any credible evidence Charlie had been sexually assaulted by anyone in charge.So, how do we put this genie back in the bottle? Gord Downie died of brain cancer on October 17 2017. At the time, some people were so in awe of him and his music that one former MP even suggested he deserved a state funeral.Though it seems Downie meant well in his efforts to tell the tragic story of Charlie Wenjack, it has all gone awry for lack of historical fact and evidence. One must also wonder at the lack of editorial due diligence at Simon & Schuster, the publisher. Think of the catastrophic damage this little adventure in historical revisionism has done, all thanks to millions in federal government funding of this disastrous project and no one doing any historical fact checking. As for the Downie-Wenjack charitable objectives, the materials seem to violate every single one.No truth. No reconciliation. No positive relations.In fact, I can’t think of any ‘net public benefit’ as required by the Canada Revenue Agency for this organization.Can you?Google Robert MacBain’s book Lonely Death of an Ojibway Boy and buy it for your local school and set the story of Charlie Wenjack straight.