The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) is calling on the Catholic Church to arrange for the Pope to visit a former Saskatchewan residential school during his trip to Canada.
The FSIN is asking the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) to arrange for the July 2022 Papal visit to include Muskowekwan Indian Residential School near Muskowekwan First Nation – the last standing residential school in Saskatchewan.
At its peak, Saskatchewan had 22 residential schools, with at least half of those institutions operated by the Catholic Church, according to the FSIN.
“The Pope needs to visit one of our First Nations Saskatchewan, especially one where the site of the abuse still stands, to witness for himself the reality we are facing today and the work our First Nations are conducting in finding the unmarked graves of hundreds of our children,” FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron said in a news release.
Pope Francis apologized for the Catholic Church’s role in the Canadian residential school system following a visit with Indigenous delegations at the Vatican in March.
He also vowed to visit Canada to deliver the apology in person to survivors.
More details to come…
If you are a former residential school student in distress, or have been affected by the residential school system and need help, you can contact the 24-hour Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419, or the Indian Residential School Survivors Society toll free line at 1-800-721-0066.
Additional mental-health support and resources for Indigenous people are available here.