Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations supports Sask. residential school's designation as historic site

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Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron said he was happy to hear the Muskowekwan First Nation had earned a national historical designation for the residential school building that still stands there. (Bryan Eneas/CBC - image credit)
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron said he was happy to hear the Muskowekwan First Nation had earned a national historical designation for the residential school building that still stands there. (Bryan Eneas/CBC - image credit)

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) has voiced support for communities that want to see residential school sites designated as historical sites.

Saskatchewan's last standing residential school building, located in Muskowekwan First Nation, was designated as a national historic site Thursday.

FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron said the designation was tremendous.

"Residential schools, whether we like them or not, are part of the history of Canada," Cameron said.

"The after-effects are impacting many families right across this country to this day."

Cameron commended Muskowekwan's leadership for their efforts in getting the school recognized as a historic site, a process he said took quite a while before Thursday's official announcement.

The FSIN, he said, was pleased with the symbolism the national historic site status brings the former residential school. He said the move shows the federal government and others involved in the process recognized the school's terrible past.

The federal government touted the recognition as a part of its commitment to fulfilling the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action. Cameron said anytime there's progress on that file, the FSIN is happy.

Cameron said he wasn't aware of any other efforts underway in Saskatchewan to get other former school grounds recognized as national historic sites, but that doesn't mean those applications don't exist.

"These residential sites, industrial schools, they're all being looked at as sacred site statuses, because that's what they are," Cameron said.

"Our ancestors and our people who perished in those places, those are sacred grounds. They're in the ground. They've been buried there. They're wandering spirits in that area. Those are all sacred sites."

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