From the CBC:
Percy Miller stopped during his walk in downtown Saskatoon on Friday morning to look at the signs, children’s shoes and red handprints on the doors of St. Paul’s Co-cathedral, a Roman Catholic church.
Miller, a member of Shoal Lake Cree Nation, said he’s saddened by the recent discoveries of more than 1,000 unmarked graves at residential school sites in Kamloops, B.C., Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan and elsewhere.
He said the Catholic Church needs to do the right thing and pay the full $25 million promised to residential school survivors in 2005 as part of a settlement. So far, just $4 million has been raised by the church across the country. Church lawyers argued in 2016 that their deal only obligated them to give “best efforts,” so a judge ruled they could stop raising money.
When asked about the growing calls for Catholics to boycott mass this Sunday, Miller shrugged his shoulders and said he’s not optimistic.
“It’d be good, just show they support Indigenous people,” said Miller, who has several family members forced to attend residential schools. “It’s up to them. But you know, it is what it is.”
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron, Kinistin Saulteaux Nation Chief Felix Thomas and others are calling on Catholics to stay home this Sunday, and every Sunday, until the money is paid to help survivors.
They also want the church to release all residential school documents and Pope Francis to come to Canada and apologize for the church’s role in operating the schools, as stated in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action.
“They can still pray at home in silence. That would send a strong message,” Cameron said.