215 shoes were laid around the statue of Egerton Ryerson at Ryerson University. (Shawn Goldberg via Getty Images)

The Great Canadian Mass Graves Hoax

Why so many journalists embraced a story as "true" even though it wasn't real.

Last year, The New York Times dropped a bombshell headline: ‘Horrible History’: Mass Grave of Indigenous Children Reported in Canada. As other outlets picked up the shocking story, marches, protests and riots erupted across Canada. One former Canadian minister called it “Canada’s George Floyd moment.”

But according to veteran journalist Terry Glavin, the shocking story about a mass graves wasn’t true.

And saying that—reporting that—came at a very high cost.

Terry Glavin has been a reporter for over 20 years. In that time, he’s had a particular focus on persecuted minorities. Both in faraway places like China, Afghanistan, Russia and Iraq, but also in his own backyard, where he has reported extensively on the First Nations of Canada and the abuses they have suffered at the hands of the state. So how is it that someone who has spent his career giving voice to the most vulnerable, found himself accused of genocide denial?

That’s what today’s fascinating and provocative conversation on Honestly is about. In the end, it’s about what happens when the truth no longer matters.

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