The bishops of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan have called for charity for the descendants of the indigenous population. The campaign deals with the discovery of bodies of around 1,000 children.
A letter from the bishops, reported on Tuesday (local time) by the private Catholic media network CNA/EWTN, said, “We have pledged to support the survivors with a new fundraising campaign of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.” Heard urgent request.”
More than 1,000 graves found
The fundraising campaign took place within a few days in the vicinity of various former re-education centers with the remains of about 1,000 children standing against a backdrop of graves.
More than 750 unmarked graves were discovered in late June on the site of a former Catholic school for the children of indigenous mothers in Saskatchewan alone.
“Looking at the remains found in the cemeteries of former boarding schools, we are again aware of the suffering of those who are affected by these schools and the colonial system,” the bishops said. Many members of the Catholic community have already pledged their solidarity and support to the survivors and descendants.
The hope of dialogue with indigenous people
In the 19th and 20th centuries, more than 100,000 children of Indigenous mothers were placed – often forcibly – in Canadian homes. Many of the more than 130 institutions across the country were run by Catholic religious orders. They should introduce the children to “Christian Civilization” on behalf of the state. Often they were not allowed to speak their mother tongue. An unknown number of children and adolescents were physically or sexually abused, and many died of infectious diseases.
The bishops hoped for dialogue between the Church and the indigenous people. In December, a joint delegation from both sides is expected to arrive in Rome, where a meeting with Pope Francis is planned.