FSIN calls on other churches to follow lead of United Church when it comes to residential school legacies
SASKATOON -- The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) is hoping all churches that were involved in the residential school system follow the "respectful lead" of the United Church of Canada.
The FSIN issued a public statment following the receipt of a letter from the United Church apologizing for its role in the system and outlining some of the steps it is taking.
"The United Church offered their acknowledgement and apology to survivors and missing children of Indian Residential Schools in committing acts of genocide against First Nations children in these horrific institutions.
The United Church of Canada operated 15 residential schools in Canada, including the one in Round Lake, Saskatchewan, according to the FSIN.
“We appreciate the acknowledgment and apology offered by the United Church. We ask that other church denominations that had a hand in these religious institutions to immediately follow along” FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron said in the statement.
Cameron is among those who have previously called on the Pope to apologize for role of the Catholic Church in the residential school system.
In addition to its apology, the FSIN applauded efforts by the United Church to provide records and financial support to residential school survivors.
"We are calling on all churches involved to follow suit and immediately release all school records to their rightful owners, the First Nations," the FSIN statement said.
Based on an interview with an FSIN representative, a previous version of this story incorrectly stated the Catholic Church would be releasing the records for over a dozen former residential schools.