SASKATOON -- The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) is asking people who want to show their support for those traumatized by the residential school system to consider skipping church on Sunday.

“This is something that every Christian can do, have that show of solidarity and not show up for church on Sunday,” Kinistin Saulteaux Nation Chief Felix Thomas said at an FSIN press conference Friday.

“You can go next Sunday and you can pray at home in your own way.”

The FSIN continues to ask for an apology to survivors from Pope Francis following the discovery of what are believed to be the remains of 215 students buried on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. The FSIN also wants the Roman Catholic Church to release records of residential schools.

“(We) call for the Pope to come and visit Saskatchewan, and to come and visit one of our residential school sites and to apologize in person for the trauma and the harm that the catholic church caused to our people,” said FSIN Vice-Chief David Pratt.


On Sunday, Pope Francis addressed the discovery on Twitter but did not apologize.

"I join the Canadian Bishops and the whole Catholic Church in Canada in expressing my closeness to the Canadian people, who have been traumatised by shocking discovery of the remains of two hundred and fifteen children, pupils at the Kamloops Indian Residential School," he said.

The Catholic Church administrated many of Canada’s residential schools – including the one in Kamloops – as did the Anglican, United and Presbyterian churches for more than 120 years.