Since the pledge of US$25 million for boarding school survivors in 2005, the Catholic Church has raised nearly US$300 million for the building

Since the pledge of US$25 million for boarding school survivors in 2005, the Catholic Church has raised nearly US$300 million for the building



Warning: This story contains painful details

According to data collected by CBC News, Catholic officials stated in 2015 that they could only raise a total of US$3.9 million for survivors of boarding schools. Funds raised by the building have reached nearly 300 million U.S. dollars.

The actual number may be higher. The Conference of Catholic Bishops of Canada this week rejected CBC News’ request for information from its member bishops. The figure of $292 million comes from searches of individual parish websites and other public resources.

This includes the $128 million renovation of St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto. The grand opening in 2016-with a brass band playing-took place a year after the Canadian church group sued the court and said it would no longer raise funds for survivors.

Critics say that these figures question the church’s legal claims, and it has “doing its best” to help survivors.

According to a search of public resources by CBC News, since the signing of the landmark Indian boarding school settlement agreement in 2005, the Catholic Diocese of Canada has raised or is raising $292 million for cathedrals and other church buildings. Critics say that financial commitments to boarding school survivors have been largely forgotten. (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation graphics)

‘Keep your promise’

“They didn’t keep their promise. You can’t just say,’Oh, we tried. That’s too bad,'” said Michael Starr, chief of the Cree clan of the Star Carpet.

“There is a lot of hatred, a lot of anger outside. The church must cooperate with us. It must be tangible. Keep its promises.”

After discovering more than 1,000 unmarked graves Kamloops, British Columbia, This Cowesses First Nations In Saskatchewan and elsewhere in Canada, Stahl, survivors, and others hope that the church will renew its efforts.

Stahl applauds the Bishop of Saskatchewan Recently agreed to do so. But he said that the survivors have not seen anything concrete yet. Starr also called on every bishop in Canada to join this effort.

“You know, survivors are placed at the back of the priority list, you know, I think it’s not right. They should be the first priority and make sure we get funding according to their promise,” Starr said.

Indigenous leaders such as Star Blanket Cree Nation Chief Michael Starr stated that helping boarding school survivors needs to be the top priority of the Catholic Church. (CBC/Taylor Pidrouni)

The Diocese of Toronto “opens up” for fundraising again

An official from the Archdiocese of Toronto said on Monday that they are “open” to raising funds for survivors again, but no decision has been made yet.

In a written statement, the diocese said “be clear, this is not to say no. It is to say that we need to carefully discern how to best carry out this effort.”

Starr, Bobby Cameron, chairman of the Sovereign Indigenous Peoples’ Association, and others said they have 15 years to do the right thing — since the Indian Boarding School Solution in 2005 — so they’re not sure why officials are only now starting Consider this question.

They said that while raising funds for survivors, all current Catholic activities to raise funds for buildings must be suspended. This includes the Diocese of Regina spending $17 million to renovate its Holy Rose Hall.

Saskatoon and Regina diocese officials declined to provide a timetable or target amount for fundraising activities for survivors in the province, but Regina diocese officials said they would provide more details soon, including the fate of other current fundraising activities.

In the landmark 2005 India Boarding School Placement Agreement, a promise of the Catholic Church was to “do its best” to raise 25 million US dollars for survivors. Ten years later, there are still more than 21 million U.S. dollars unpaid.

The church went to court and pointed out the “best effort” clause, saying that they had tried their best. On July 16, 2015, the judge agreed and exempted the church from its legal obligations.

Anyone affected by the boarding school experience and those affected by the latest report can receive support.

A nationwide Indian boarding school crisis hotline has been established to provide support to former students and those affected. People can call the 24-hour national crisis hotline: 1-866-925-4419 for emotional and crisis referral services.


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