Sask. Indigenous leader says Catholic Church releasing records for 13 residential schools

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While the ground search continues at a former Indian Residential School in Delmas, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Chief Bobby Cameron says records of at least 13 schools will be released by the Catholic Church.

“It’s welcoming news and it’s a start, for other churches right across Canada to do the same, release those records to the survivors and descendents,” Cameron told CTV News on Sunday.

Late last week Cameron said his office received a letter describing that Catholic Churches in Saskatchewan, that oversaw 13 schools, will be releasing records to the FSIN, something the FSIN and Indigenous leaders in Saskatchewan have been calling for since ground-penetrating radar searches began identifying unmarked graves at residential schools in Western Canada.

Speaking from Delmas, about 165 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon, Cameron said the ground search at Delmas has been completed, and the crew will be heading to La Ronge for more ground searches next weekend.

Following the discovery of what is believed to be the remains of 215 students buried on the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, the FSIN called on Pope Francis to issue an apology for the role the Catholic Church played in residential schools The FSIN also called on the Roman Catholic Church to release records of residential schools.

Cameron said it appears the Catholic Churches in Saskatchewan are listening.

“They are listening,” Cameron said. “The amount of pressure we’ve been putting on them, it’s working and we are going to continue to be vocal for our survivors.” 

– With files from CTV Saskatoon’s Tyler Barrow

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