This request was reiterated at a press conference Monday by members of the Muskowekwan First Nation, located about 150 km northeast of Regina.

About 35 potential unmarked graves were discovered last year at the former Muskowekwan residential school site.

This press conference was given in the presence of the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Regina, Donald Bolen, the Commissioner of Treaties, Mary Culbertson, and representatives of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) who support the process. of the Muskowekwan First Nation.

We hope and pray that the Pope will one day visit us in Muskowekwan. »

A quote from Chief Jamie Wolfe of the Muskowekwan First Nation

According to Chief Muskowekwan, the pontiff’s visit to Saskatchewan would be very significant.

I wouldn’t want to watch such a thing on television. I would like the person to be here in person and say they are sorry for this [qu’on a dû] endure in this schoolhe says.

Hearing these words of forgiveness would change the lives of those who still believe in this way, in this culture.he argues.

The Archbishop of Regina, Most Reverend Donald Bolen speaks outside the former Muskowekwan Indian residential school.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Rob Kruk

The Pope owes an apology to all survivors, families, and communities impacted by Catholic Church-run residential schools in our own treaty territory.declared for his part Bobby Cameron, the head of the FSIN.

Pope Francis and the Church must witness the devastation caused by the Church in our treaty territory. »

A quote from Bobby Cameron, head of the FSIN

According to Mr. Cameron, the pope should visit the First Nations of Saskatchewan, in particular those where the abuse site is still standingto witness, he says, the reality, impact and legacy of residential schools.

Last month, the FSIN had made a request for the Pope to visit the graves of a former residential school site in Saskatchewan.

For her part, Marie-Anne Daywalker-Pelletier is asking for support from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) so that the pope can visit the site of the former Muskowekwan boarding school.

She wonders if the planned papal visit was simply a reward for Indigenous people who still practice the faith, rather than a sign of reconciliation.

Ms. Daywalker-Pelletier, during her visit to Rome, had offered Pope Francis baby moccasins in exchange for the promise that he would hand them over to the steps of a boarding school in her area.

An approach supported by Archbishop Donald Bolen

The Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Regina, Donald Bolen, said he supports efforts to bring Pope Francis to Muskowekwan.

It would be a beautiful and powerful thing, he says. Bishop Bolen admits, however, that he only had a small role to play and was not sure if it would happen.

He commended the work done in the community and the efforts made to heal and move on from the trauma caused by residential schools.

The Archbishop believes that the Roman Catholic Church and First Nations are now allies, as Indigenous communities attempt to revive and renew the spiritual traditions of their ancestors.

The former Muskowekwan Indian Residential School was operated by the Roman Catholic Church until the federal government took over in 1969.

Built in 1930 and 1931, this school was recently made a National Historic Site following a campaign by community members who consider it an important site of residential school history.

For now, Pope Francis is only expected to visit Quebec, Edmonton and Iqaluit during his trip.

With information from Alexander Quon

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