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Indigenous leaders ask Catholic congregants to push for residential school apology

Last Updated Jun 11, 2021 at 2:08 pm EDT

Indigenous leaders in Saskatchewan are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services. 

Vice-chief David Pratt of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations says Pope Francis needs to apologize for the church’s role in residential schools.

Felix Thomas, chief of the Kinistin Saulteaux Nation, is asking Catholic worshippers to pray at home instead. 

He says that would send a message to the church that congregants care about what happened in residential schools and want a meaningful apology. 

The remains of what are believed to be 215 Indigenous children were found buried at the Kamloops Indian Residential School Site in British Columbia last month.

Pratt, who expects more bodies will be found at residential school sites, wants Catholics to talk to their church leaders and help put pressure on the institution “to do what’s right and to apologize.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 11, 2021.

The Canadian Press